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Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee wants to legalize adult-use cannabis, proposing a program that would issue 25 retail licenses a year with a market launch in April 2022. McKee, a Democrat who included the proposal as part of his fiscal-year 2022 budget, is following the lead of his predecessor, Gina Raimondo, who also advocated for adult-use legalization. Raimondo recently resigned as governor to become President Joe Biden’s commerce secretary. State Senate leaders have proposed a separate legalization plan calling for a Cannabis Control Commission to determine licensing and regulate the industry, according to the Providence Journal. McKee’s proposal includes these elements:
Of the 25 annual retail licenses, five would be set aside for minority business enterprises.
An Office of Cannabis Regulation would license applicants and ensure compliance with packaging, labeling, security and safety requirements.
A retail excise tax of 10% on marijuana products would be imposed on top of the state’s 7% sales tax. There also would be a weight-based excise tax on marijuana cultivation.
Creation of a task force to make recommendations on investing marijuana revenues in job training, access to capital for small businesses, community development and other areas.
– Jeff Smith