5,000 Percent Could Be Increased by rhode Island Dispensary Licensing Fees

Rhode Island Dispensary Licensing Fees Could Boost 5,000 Percent

Today, Rhode Island lawmakers are voting on a budget which would shock the nation ’s medical marijuana industry. The state budget proposal would increase licensing fees by 5,000 percent. This means that each and every year, Rhode Island dispensaries would have to pay $250,000 to maintain their licenses. Rhode Island may soon be the most expensive place to own a dispensary in New England.

The Existing Dispensary Licensing Program

Medical marijuana was legalized by rhode Island in 2006. But today, there are only three dispensaries and 18 marijuana growers.  In 2017, the state saw a 33 percent increase in the number of medical marijuana patients according to this Providence Journal. This brings the total number of registered patients to 18,848.

Nowadays, the licensing renewal fee for a dispensary is $5,000. This legislation also stops anyone from opening a dispensary, capping the number at three. For Rhode Island’s dispensaries, this is terrific for business. These three dispensaries have a monopoly over Rhode Island’s increasing medical marijuana clients.

The Governor Wanted To Increase the Amount of Dispensaries

Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget proposal expects to make enormous changes to the nation ’s marijuana laws. At the first iteration of this budget, Raimondo’s office proposed licensing 15 additional dispensaries. Per The Olympian, the governor’s goal was to increase state revenue by $5 million.

However, the Rhode Island House rejected this portion of the proposal.  Although the state only has three dispensaries, lawmakers argued that Rhode Islanders have the exact same access to medical marijuana as other states.

There are a little over 1 million people living in The Ocean State. Massachusetts and Connecticut have 7 million and 3.5 million residents, respectively.

Dispensaries Will Pay 5,000 Percent More In Licensing Fees

Today, the House will vote on the last draft of the state budget. This sum is significantly higher than New Hampshire’s $80,000 yearly licensing fee, which is the region’s second highest.  However, New Hampshire will most likely be reducing fees.

In Massachusetts, dispensaries pay $50,000 annually–Rhode Island’s would be four times as much.

One Dispensary Is Happy To Pay More Charges

Chris Reilly, the spokesperson from the Slater Center, the nation ’s biggest dispensary, talked to the company’s willingness to support the authorities. He explained into the House, “If there’s a way to locate the $5 million which you need to plug the budget hole that you need for the coming fiscal year, we’d like to become part of the solution. ”

But they will only help at a cost: the state must keep the number of dispensaries in the three. Recreational marijuana in Massachusetts will add competition, and Rhode Island’s biggest bud store doesn’t want more dispensaries popping up south of the country boundary.

Even though a $250,000 annual fee is unheard of, it could help one dispensary create a medical marijuana monopoly.

Released at Fri, 15 Jun 2018 19:23:51 +0000

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