May 19, 2022
amended legalization bill, automatice expungement, cannabis convictions, cannabis legalization, clearance, criminal justice reform, expungement, House Finance Committee, legalize and regulate, localities, medical cannabis patients, plant tag fees, registration fees, relief, revised language, Rhode Island, RI, Senate Judiciary Committee, vote
Committees in both the House and Senate will vote on cannabis legalization later today
Exciting news: Rhode Island could soon become the next state to legalize cannabis for adults!
Later today, members of the House Finance Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on an amended proposal to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults after several weeks of discussion among legislators and stakeholders.
Thanks to the work of MPP and local criminal justice reform organizations, a major change from the previous version of the legislation is the inclusion of a state-initiated process for the clearance of past misdemeanor and felony convictions for cannabis possession. A prior version of the General Assembly’s legislation would have required individuals to take action and file a petition with the court to have their records expunged. But under the revised language, tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders will receive relief automatically by July 1, 2024.
The amended bill also eliminates all registration and plant tag fees for medical cannabis patients and establishes additional provisions that allow localities to set their own cannabis policies.
Once approved by the committees, the bill is expected to advance to the floor of both legislative chambers soon before it goes to the governor’s desk.
Stay tuned for more updates soon!