Rhode Island Marijuana Laws

Current Legality State
Decriminalized and Medical Program
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Rhode Island State Information Page

  • Medical Program only
  • Decriminalized statewide for minor possession (it is now considered a civil violation, similar to a minor traffic violation)
  • Medical patients can possess up to two and a half ounces; recreational marijuana possession is illegal.
  • Cultivation is recreationally illegal; medical patients can grow twelve plants with a license
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Medical cannabis has been legal in Rhode Island has been since 2006; however, recreational cannabis has not caught up. The state has made efforts to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis. A 2022 ballot initiative to allow residents to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use is currently gaining signatures and supporters.  Once weed is legalized, businesses can apply for the expungement of past marijuana convictions past criminal records. Cannabis businesses will also be able to apply for retail licenses to legally sell cannabis products.

State Laws and Offenses

Here’s a list of marijuana laws for RI’s possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana, concentrate, or paraphernalia.

  • Under current legislation, Marijuana is a Schedule I substance in the state of RI
  • Federally, cannabis is still considered an illicit drug and is a Schedule I Controlled Substance.
  • First-time possession of marijuana up to one ounce by an individual eighteen years or older is a civil offense, punishable by a 150 USD fine, no jail time, and no criminal record.
  • Sale or cultivation of less than one kilogram is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of thirty years of prison time and a maximum fine of 100,000 USD. Cannabis concentrates fall under the same category.
  • The manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession with the intent to sell or deliver, of drug paraphernalia is punishable by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars and up to two years imprisonment.
  • Simple Possession for personal use while driving will result in a driver’s license suspension for a period of six months.

The following is a list of the most common conditions that qualify for medical cannabis in Rhode Island: ​​

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease (agitation related to the disease)
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Epilepsy, Severe Seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Other conditions or a debilitating diseases are subject to approval

Effective May 16, 2022, Practitioner’s can no longer make Medical Marijuana recommendations by means of Telemedicine. The BMLD guidelines for telemedicine prohibit controlled substances unless there is an in-person evaluation.

Does Rhode Island accept out-of-state medical cards?

Yes. However, out-of-state cards are limited to states that track sales: WA, OR, CA, NV, AK, HI, MT, CO, NM, ND, AR, IL, MI, OH, PA, NY, MD, DE, RI, MA, & DC.

When does my Rhode Island medical card expire?

Medical cards expire one year from the date the patient completes the registration process.

Rhode Island marijuana DUI laws

The state of Rhode Island has a drugged driving law in place. Possession while driving will result in a driver’s license suspension for at least six months and hefty fines that increase per offense.

People may not drive a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit substance in their body. However, medical patients will not be penalized for testing positive for marijuana during a blood test. 

Rhode Island marijuana growing laws

Yes, up to 12 plants and 12 seedlings. Patients or caregivers must cultivate the marijuana in one location, and it must be stored in an indoor facility.

After legalizing marijuana, two or more cardholders may cooperatively produce marijuana in residential or non-residential areas subject to the following restrictions: Non-residential – no more than ten ounces of usable marijuana, 48 mature marijuana plants, and 48 seedlings. Residential for personal use– no more than ten ounces of useable marijuana, 24 mature marijuana plants, and 24 seedlings.

Rhode Island public consumption laws

Rhode Island state law does not allow public consumption of cannabis. However, many cities have decriminalized possession of fewer than 100 grams of weed. Public places include:

  • Public transportation
  • Anywhere use could expose children to significant adverse effects
  • School grounds or a school bus
  • Drug treatment facility or correctional facility

Rhode Island city specific laws

The laws listed here are for the state. Cities, counties, schools, universities, and employers may set their own rules and consequences. Be sure to check how marijuana laws differ in each county or town before you use.

In a recent poll, 59 percent of Rhode Islanders supported the legalization of marijuana for personal use.


Marijuana is currently not legal for recreational use in the state of Rhode Island. Due to the medical program that has been established, it will be permitted for medicinal purposes only. Those who have registered with the state’s Department of Health will be allowed possession.

Yes, Medical marijuana inhalation devices are legal in the state of Rhode Island, however, smoking is not allowed in public. 

Yes, up to 12 plants and 12 seedlings. All marijuana must be cultivated in one location and the grower must be registered with the state. 

Requirements are as follows: 

Be 18 years of age or older

You must be able to provide proof of your IL residency

You must have a diagnosis that qualifies in Illinois and a doctor’s prescription.

You must submit a signed Physician Certification with your MMP application – and that is where Leafy Doc can help.  We can assist with booking your appointment and then provide the Physician Certification so that you can apply to get your medical card. Once you have the card, you may visit licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and even grow medical cannabis.

Yes. Rhode Island law requires all qualified patients to be registered with the state before using cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Requirements are as follows: 

Proof that you are a Rhode Island resident

A Practitioner Form from your health care professional

A check or money order for the 50 USD application fee

RI driver’s license or RI state ID 

Steps to apply:

Check with your doctor to see if your medical condition qualifies for an application

Have your doctor fill out a Practitioner Form

Fill out a patient application form

Application form, practitioner form, copy of photo ID, copy of proof of aid (if applicable), check or money order of application fee.

Mail your application form to register as a Medical Marijuana Patient 

The application process takes two to four weeks

Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline

2006: Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act were passed to legalize medical marijuana for a qualifying condition following a decades-long prohibition.

2012: First offense possession of one ounce of marijuana was decriminalized per a house bill

2019: Democratic Governor Raimondo signed a budget that tripled the possible compassion center number from three to nine.  

2020: Gov. Raimondo signed the  “Adult Use Marijuana Act” to set policies in place for medical patients and compassion centers.

2021: The Rhode Island state budget included a plan to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. The Rhode Island Department of business regulation, the cannabis control commission, and an advisory board from the house finance committee produced the budget.

2022: A ballot initiative for new legislation to allow residents to vote to legalize marijuana for adult use is currently gaining signatures and supporters. 

Updated 6.14.2022