Yo, what’s good? It’s your boy Dan here to tell you about some big news out of Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDHO) just launched a new initiative that allows residents to apply for medical cannabis card registration online. That’s right, no more paper applications, we’re living in the future now.
It’s called the Rhode Island Cannabis Licensing Portal, and it’s up and running as of June 1. They say it covers everything patients need, from renewing existing cards to updating personal info. And new patients can apply for their medical marijuana registration card through the portal now too.
The old system was totally paper-based, but now you can get approved or denied within 35 days of submitting your application. They say they’re gonna stop sending out reminders and renewal forms by mail soon, so you gotta create an account on the portal to make sure you don’t miss any important messages from RIDOH.
Rhode Island started its medical cannabis program back in 2006. At the time, patients could have up to 2.5 ounces of weed and grow up to 12 plants at home. Only eight medical conditions qualified for medical cannabis back then. It wasn’t until almost seven years later that the state established medical dispensary access. But things have been changing fast since then.
Recreational cannabis sales started up in December 2022 and they’re already making bank. In just the first week with only five retailers open, they pulled in $1.6 million in sales. That’s split between recreational and medical weed, but by February and March, total sales were already up to $8.7 million.
Before legalization, there were around 15,062 registered medical cannabis patients in the state. That number dipped a bit after recreational weed became legal, but there are still over 13,000 people who are registered as of March.
Governor Dan McKee signed the legislation to legalize recreational cannabis in May 2022. He’s pretty hyped about what it’ll do for the state’s economy and for justice, too. The law includes automatic expungement of past cannabis convictions, which means some people might finally be able to move on from their pasts.
Just last month, McKee nominated three peeps to a regulatory panel that’s gonna oversee the regulation, licensing, and control of adult-use and medical cannabis in Rhode Island. They’re hoping to continue what they say has been “good work” so far and make sure the industry stays safe, transparent, and equitable in the future.
So there you have it, folks. Rhode Island is making moves in the world of weed. If you’re a medical patient in the state, make sure you get on that portal so you can keep up with all the changes. Peace out!