Is medical marijuana legal in Rhode Island?
Yes, Rhode Island began its medical marijuana program in 2006. Three state compassion centers first opened in 2013, kicking off retails sales. Rhode Island also accepts card-holding patients from all other states with established and regulated medical marijuana programs.
How do I qualify for a medical cannabis license?
To qualify, a patient must have one of the following medical conditions approved by the Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Act (pdf):
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or treatment for AIDS
- Agitation related to Alzheimer’s Disease
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Cancer or cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiation, etc.
- Crohn’s disease
- Glaucoma or glaucoma treatment
- Hepatitis C or treatment for Hepatitis C
- Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or treatment for HIV
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe, debilitating, chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Do I need to be 18 years old to obtain my medical marijuana card?
No, patients under the age of 18 can participate in the program. They typically do so with the assistance of their designated caregiver and/or buyer. There are additional requirements for children seeking to use medical marijuana for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Patients under the age of 18 cannot register for PTSD as a qualifying condition.
Where can I buy medical marijuana in Rhode Island?
You can obtain medical marijuana from one of the state’s approved dispensaries. Patients can also grow their cannabis at home or within a co-op.
Do I need to designate one location as my designated dispensary?
No, the state allows for qualified patients to purchase their medicinal marijuana from any of the compassion center locations in Rhode Island.
How much medical cannabis can I possess in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has a series of possession rules depending on how you obtain your cannabis. Patients can possess up to 2.5 ounces that they grew (totaling 12 mature plants and 12 seedlings), or that they purchased from a state-approved dispensary. Groups of two or more cardholders can register a co-op for additional possession rules that you can find here.
Can a license holder grow their own medical marijuana?
Yes, Rhode Island allows for home cultivation. A patient or caregiver can grow up to 12 plants and 12 seedlings at any time. To become state-approved, the applicant must state whether they plan to grow the plant for themselves, and must register with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation.
Can I become a caregiver?
Yes, you can become a caregiver for up to five patients at a time. You must be at least 21 years of age.
Does Rhode Island honor out of state medical marijuana cards?
Yes, the Rhode Island accepts out-of-state cardholding patients from all states with established, regulated medical cannabis programs.
Can I lose my job for using medical marijuana in Rhode Island?
Under the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act, “no school, employer, or landlord may refuse to enroll, employ, or lease to, or otherwise penalize, a person solely for his or her status as a cardholder.” However, there have been cases where patients did lose their employment for using state-approved cannabis.