Rhode Island Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Medical Program

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    2.5 oz

  • Recreational users

    Illegal

State taxes

  • Medical patients

    7%

  • Recreational users

    Illegal

Cultivation

  • Medical patients

    12 plants

  • Recreational users

    Illegal


  • Cultivation is legal
Learn more

Application process

To apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Rhode Island

Once you have registered with Leafwell and been approved by one of our medical marijuana doctors online, receive your certificate in the mail and apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

Receive the original certificate in the mail in 5-7 days.

Get your card

Table of contents

  1.  Is cannabis legal in Rhode Island?
  2. What are the medical marijuana laws in Rhode Island?
  3. What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Rhode Island?
  4. How do I get certified for medical cannabis in Rhode Island?
  5. Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Rhode Island?
  6. How much cannabis can I possess in Rhode Island with an MMJ Card?
  7. Is it legal to grow cannabis in Rhode Island?
  8. Does Rhode Island accept out-of-state cards?
  9. Will my Rhode Island card be accepted in other states?
  10. Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Rhode Island?
  11. What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Rhode Island?
  12. Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Rhode Island?
  13. Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has decriminalized non-medical cannabis, but it is still illegal. Only medical marijuana is legal in Rhode Island.


What are the medical marijuana laws in Rhode Island?

Medical Cannabis Laws in RI

2006

Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act, SB 0710

2009

Rhode Island introduced a cannabis dispensary system, making them the second state nationwide (after California) to do so. States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. Therefore, compliance with this chapter does not put the state of Rhode Island in violation of federal law. State law should make a distinction between the medical and nonmedical use of marijuana. Hence, the purpose of this chapter is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, and their physicians and primary caregivers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.

Recreational Cannabis Laws in RI

Recreational cannabis use is illegal in Rhode Island. However, lawmakers are seeking to legalize non-medical cannabis, and it could be one of the next states to do so come 2022.


What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island law lists the following medical conditions as qualifiers for a medical cannabis card:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cachexia, or Wasting Syndrome
  • Cancer or the treatment of cancer, inc. side-effects of chemotherapy
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Severe, debilitating, chronic pain
  • Severe Nausea
  • Severe and Persistent Muscle Spasms, such as those associated with Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

How do I get certified for medical cannabis in Rhode Island?

With Leafwell, you can get your Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Card in 5 simple steps:

  1. Register online with Leafwell and book an appointment to a friendly physician in Rhode Island  – Our process is quick, easy and HIPAA compliant
  2. Speak with one of our licensed RI physicians about getting a medical cannabis certificate – You can speak to a doctor about your medical condition and qualify for a RI medical marijuana card online in minutes. The cost of the online consultation is $149. You are only billed if approved.
  3. Once approved by a Leafwell physician, you can apply to the state – You receive the hard copy of the certificate in the mail (typically takes 5-7 days). Then fill in all of your details on the state application form and send it off along with your physician’s certification from Leafwell. The cost of the application is $50, payable to the state. The state’s medical marijuana program is run by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Send your application to this address:
    • Rhode Island Center For Professional Licensing Room
    • 105A – 3 Capitol Hill
    • Providence
    • RI 02908-5097
  4. If approved, the state will contact you to arrange your photo for the ID card – You will need to go to get your photograph taken. With COVID-19, this is more likely to take place online.
  5. You will receive your Rhode Island medical marijuana card in 2-4 weeks – Get your meds from a dispensary, or even have them delivered to you!

You must be aged 18 or over in order to qualify for medical marijuana in Rhode Island. Those aged under 18 will need a caregiver. Caregivers must be 21 years of age. A primary caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of Rhode Island. A primary caregiver can assist no more than five patients with their use of medical marijuana. Patients are limited to one caregiver.

Rhode Island medical marijuana patients are permitted to designate one personal Caregiver to grow or provide medicine for them. An Authorized Purchaser is someone that can legally obtain medicine from any of the three state licensed Compassion Centers and deliver the medicine to the patient.

Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence) has introduced legislation (2018-H 8011) that would allow school nurses to administer non-smokeable medical marijuana products to students with a valid medical marijuana recommendation on school grounds.

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Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Rhode Island?

No, not any more. During the pandemic, telemedicine was made legal in Rhode Island.  But now legislation has been rolled back and you will need to meet with a provider in person.


How much cannabis can I possess in Rhode Island with an MMJ Card?

  • For medical card holders
    • Possession Limit (Flower): Up to 2.5 oz. on-person, or 10 ounces on one’s own property, residential or non-residential.
    • Possession Limit (Concentrate): 1 gram concentrate = 3.3 grams flower, possession limit of just over an ounce.
  • For recreational users = Illegal

Up to 12 plants may be grown by a qualifying medical marijuana patient. Only medical patients are permitted to grow.


Does Rhode Island accept out-of-state cards?

Rhode Island has medical marijuana reciprocity, and so recognizes state-issued MMJ cards from other US states.


Will my Rhode Island card be accepted in other states?

A Rhode Island medical marijuana card is valid in other states with medical marijuana reciprocity.

The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:

  • Arizona
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Utah
  • Washington, D.C.

However, this does not always mean you can purchase cannabis at a medical marijuana dispensary (non-medical adult use is fine) – just that you are protected by the state’s medical marijuana laws to some extent. It is wise to call the dispensary ahead if you are a medical cannabis patient from another state and you intend on purchasing medical marijuana.

The qualifying condition usually has to match between states, so if your qualifying condition is accepted in one state and not your visiting state, your recommendation is not necessarily valid. You are also beholden to the visiting state’s medical marijuana laws, not the state that issued your card.

The following states accept out-of-state applications, allowing a visiting patient application to use medical cannabis for the duration of their stay:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • West Virginia (cancer patients only)

Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island’s drug testing statute states that employers may require employees to submit to a drug test if the employer “has reasonable grounds to believe based on specific aspects of the employee’s job performance and specific contemporaneous documented observations, concerning the employee’s appearance, behavior or speech that the employee may be under the influence of a controlled substance, which may be impairing his or her ability to perform his or her job . . .”


What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has only recently started to test its medical cannabis products, but there is still no requirement as of yet (this has now changed as of 2021, but will not fully take effect until 2022). Mold, mildew, heavy metals, pesticides, solvent residue and potentially deadly microbes will be tested for by third-party labs.


Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Rhode Island?

In all states with a medical marijuana program, the only way to purchase medicinal cannabis products is via a legally-licensed dispensary or pharmacy, or another legally designated space to purchase cannabis. Only those with a legal license to sell cannabis can actually do so.


Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Rhode Island?

All states with a medical marijuana program have some restrictions on where a person can legally use cannabis. Near schools, nurseries, parks or other places where children are expected to be, using cannabis is illegal. Use of cannabis on or in federal land or buildings, hospitals or any other such healthcare space is also illegal. Private members club and landowners may also prohibit cannabis use on their property or restrict it at their discretion.

The safest place to use medical cannabis is in the safety of your own home. It is wise to use common sense and generally keep consumption out of public view, and utilize discreet consumption methods wherever possible.