Rhode Island Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Legalize Marijuana

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A senator in Rhode Island is introducing a bill that would legalize cannabis by following the framework set by neighboring Massachusetts.

Democratic state Sen. Joshua Miller introduced the bill Wednesday, May 16, 2018. The proposal would create a system to tax and regulate cannabis in Rhode Island that mirrors the system in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts voters legalized adult-use cannabis in November 2016 with the passage of Question 4, approved by 53.66 percent of voters. Recreational sales were set to begin on July 1, 2018.

Miller’s bill would establish a 10 percent tax on cannabis sales in addition to the state’s 7 percent sales tax. It would also allow for towns and cities to implement an additional tax up to 3 percent.

Miller said Rhode Island will miss out on revenue when Rhode Islanders cross into Massachusetts to buy cannabis.

Bills to legalize marijuana in Rhode Island have stalled in previous legislative sessions.

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