Rhode Island Cannabis Cultivator License

With the passing of legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in Rhode Island in May 2022, we are entering a period where the use of cannabis will become more mainstream and demand will grow.

As such, Rhode Island is issuing cannabis cultivator licenses to growers who want to make a business of cultivating cannabis and who pass meet the stringent requirements in the state to do so.

Cannabis cultivation is a specialist area that requires extensive expertise and investment. The cultivator license process recognizes this and places high demands on business owners before and after being awarded a license.

Rhode Island Cannabis Cultivator License

A cultivator license will allow you to grow cannabis commercially but it will be heavily regulated and the eyes of the authorities will be on your business from the start.

With our experience in helping cannabis cultivators around the U.S. become established and grow their businesses, we are ideally positioned to help you take the first step to achieve your dreams by securing one of the prized licenses.

Classes of cultivator license in Rhode Island

The Office of Cannabis Regulation has administered cannabis licenses since medical cannabis was first legalized in Rhode Island in 2006. Medical cannabis growers, manufacturers and retailers have been subject to stringent requirements.

For adult-use cultivation, there are set to be four different classes of cultivator licenses under the new legislation, based on the proposed size of the cannabis production area of businesses. This includes the areas for cultivating, storing, processing, packaging and/or manufacturing cannabis and the total area will be verified by an officer.

The breakdown of licenses is as follows:

  • Micro-license: 2,500 sq. ft. (Annual fee of $5,000)
  • Class A: 5000 sq. ft. (Annual fee of $20,000)
  • Class B: 5,001 – 10,000 sq. ft. (Annual fee of $35,000)
  • Class C: 10,001 – 15,000 sq. ft. (Annual fee of $50,000)
  • Class D: 15,001 – 20,000 sq. ft. (Annual fee of $80,000)

Facilities over 20,000 sq. ft. must contact the Office of Cannabis Regulation before applying for a license.

Initially, only micro-license, Class A, and Class B applications will be accepted by the licensing office and cultivators will only be licensed at a single location. Plans to operate larger facilities in the future should be detailed in the license application.

Cultivator license application process

All categories of cultivator applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $5,000.

As well as the basic details of who you are and what your business is proposing, you need to include the following type of information:

  • Certificate of incorporation/organization or certificate of authority to transact business in Rhode Island, articles of incorporation/organization, bylaws or operating agreement and corporation organization chart.
  • Details about the proposed physical location of the growing/storing/producing facility including total square footage. Alternatively, a description of the general location(s) where it may be sited, if approved, and the expected schedule for purchasing or leasing the location(s).
  • Evidence that the location complies with all local zoning laws.
  • A business plan, including the scope of activities, budget and resource narratives, and the timeline for initiating operations.
  • The legal name, current address, and date of birth of each officer/director or member/manager of the applicant.
  • Policies and procedures for handling voluntary and mandatory recalls of cannabis products and separating outdated, damaged, deteriorated, mislabeled, or contaminated medical marijuana.
  • Tax affidavit.

As you can see, cannabis cultivator license applications require a lot of documentation and are complex. But the paperwork doesn’t stop there…

Cultivator license: post-approval process and timeline

Upon notification of approval of a cannabis cultivator license application, the approved applicant must “take reasonable and documented efforts to complete the prerequisites for issuance of the license”.

These steps are likely to include:

  • Payment of the annual licensing fee.
  • Providing a sufficient description of the final physical location of the cultivator premises.
  • Evidence of complete compliance of the facility with the local zoning laws.
  • Evidence that the physical location for the cultivator premises is not located within one thousand feet (1,000’) of the property line of a preexisting public or private school (if the evidence is not already provided).
  • A current Certificate of Occupancy (or an equivalent document) to demonstrate compliance of the cultivator facility with the relevant safety and building codes.
  • Evidence of either ownership of the property or agreement by the owner of the property to allow the operation of a licensed cultivator on the property.
  • A final diagram of the facility, including where marijuana will be cultivated, stored, processed, packaged, and manufactured, and where security alarms and cameras and surveillance recording storage will be located.
  • The legal name, current address, and date of birth of any person who will be an employee or agent of the cultivator at its inception.

You have a maximum of nine months to provide the licensing office with the required information or you face the risk of losing the license approval.

Once the license has been issued, the licensed cultivator must take reasonable and documented efforts to launch licensed cultivator activities (cultivation, processing, packaging, manufacturing, and/or other activities) within six months.

How can our Rhode Island cannabis attorney help you with a cultivator license?

If you want to grow adult-use cannabis in Rhode Island, trying to set your business up without the right legal advice can cause unnecessary delays, expenses, and legal issues. The disconnect in legality between state and federal law complicates cannabis business matters.

Even the license application process can seem laborious. It is also competitive, with only a limited number available. Our attorneys provide the knowledge and support that you need to plan, incorporate and grow your cannabis business — starting with your application for a Rhode Island cannabis cultivator license.

For informed legal advice, call 866-329-0729 for a consultation with a knowledgeable cannabis attorney at Cannabis Law Solutions.

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