16,462
Registered Patient Population
1.49%
of Total Population Represented by Patients
6
Total Medical Retail Locations Currently in Operation
274,367 : 1
Patients : Retail

In-state patients with a Rhode Island registry ID card may use, possess and cultivate cannabis. Patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis and may cultivate up to 12 plants. Patients may appoint up to two primary caregivers for assistance or designate a compassion center. Rhode Island allows any patient with a valid medical cannabis card in physical form to purchase from in state dispensaries. Patients report that the limited number of dispensaries in the state as their main barrier to access. Rhode Island has been working to improve their programs over the years, notably seen when they protected patient employee rights through the courts in Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics Co. et. al., (R.I. Super. Ct. 2017). Details on how these laws apply to patients and medical professionals can be found below.

In 2017, anyone with a first offense (low-level cannabis conviction) was made able to petition the court for expungement of their criminal records, related to convictions that have been decriminalized. Following a court hearing and the payment of all existing fines/fees, expungement should be granted. For more information refer to the website of the Rhode Island Office of Cannabis Regulation.

Home cultivation is allowed in Rhode Island, for medical cannabis patients and caregivers. May cultivate up to twelve plants and seedlings indoors in their homes.

NOTICE: It can be challenging for patients to determine which businesses offering cannabis products are licensed and approved by the state. Review this list of medical cannabis retailers and/or a list of adult use retailers to find out where to purchase regulated cannabis in Rhode Island. 

Traveling? Get more information about traveling in the US here. 

Navigating Rhode Island State Laws:

Patients and Caregivers: Enrolling and Accessing Medical Cannabis

Medical Professionals: Procedures for recommending Medical Cannabis

Policymakers and Advocates: Actions Needed to Improve Laws for Patients

Get involved locally!

Take Action!

Here is a breakdown of how Rhode Island fared in ASA’s Annual State of the States Report, which evaluates the effectiveness of each state cannabis program from a patient perspective and assigns a grade using a rubric that reflects the key issues affecting patient access. Medical cannabis laws are constantly changing, ASA’s policy recommendations for Rhode Island can be found below. For policy updates sign up here.

Patient Rights and Civil Protections 70/100   
Arrest Protection 25/25
Affirmative Defense 20/20
Parental Rights Protections 0/20
DUI Protections 0/10
Employment Protections 20/20
Explicit Privacy Standards 5/5
Access to Medicine 81/100   
Authorizes Retail Access 10/10
Alternative Accessibility Methods 20/20
- Authorizes Delivery 10/10
- Authorizes Curbside Pickup 10/10
Personal Cultivation 15/15
Collective Gardening 1/5
Sufficient Number of Licensed Retailers 15/30
Reciprocity 20/20
Program Functionality 71/100   
Legal Protections Within Reasonable Time Frame 18/20
Reasonable Possession Limits 10/10
Reasonable Purchase Limits 10/10
Telemedicine for Physician Certifications 15/15
Patient and Physician Representation in Program Decision Making 0/20
Reasonable Caregiver Standards 3/5
- Background Checks 0/2
- Number of Caregivers 3/3
Reasonable Physician Standards 5/5
Access to Administration Methods 10/10
- Allows Dried Flower 5/5
- Allows Edibles, Concentrates, and Other Forms 5/5
Provides Access to Minors on School Grounds 0/5
Affordability 54/100   
Sales Tax Break for Patients and Caregivers 16/20
Covered by State Insurance or Health Aid 0/20
Reasonable Registration Fees 18/20
Financial Hardship Waivers or Discounts 20/20
Donation Program 0/10
Allows Multi-Year Registrations 0/10
Health and Social Equity 65/100   
State Program Protections 25/25
Housing Protections 15/25
Access for Minors 9/10
Access in Underserved Areas 0/10
List of Qualifying Conditions is Exhaustive or All Inclusive 8/10
Allows Patients to Medicate Where they Choose 8/10
Organ Transplants 0/5
Ownership or Employment Restrictions 0/5
Consumer Protection and Product Safety 153/200   
Cultivation Operations 38/50
Quality Management Systems 10/10
Staff Training 10/10
Standard Operating Procedures 6/8
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 1/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Storage 0/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Water Management 0/1
- Records Management 1/1
Pesticide Usage Limitations 2/2
Environmental Impact Regulations 0/2
Required Testing 5/8
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Microbials 1/1
- Aflatoxins 0/1
- Pesticides 1/1
- Heavy Metals 1/1
- Foreign Matter 0/1
- Moisture Content/ Water Activity 1/1
Packaging and Labeling 2/3
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Pesticides 1/1
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting, and Recall Protocol 3/7
Manufacturing Operations 38/50
Quality Management Systems 10/10
Staff Training 10/10
Standard Operating Procedures 6/7
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 1/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Storage 0/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Records Management 1/1
Environmental Impact Regulations 0/3
Required Testing 4/10
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Microbials 0/1
- Aflatoxins 0/1
- Pesticides 1/1
- Heavy Metals 1/1
- Residual Solvents 1/1
- Homogeneity 0/1
- Foreign Matter 0/1
- Water Activity 0/1
Packaging and Labeling 4/5
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Ingredients 1/1
- Allergens 1/1
- Nutritional Content 1/1
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting and Recall Protocol 4/5
Dispensary Operations 33/50
Staff Training 20/20
Standard Operating Procedures 6/7
- Facility Sanitation 1/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Storage 0/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Records Management 1/1
Product Testing 0/10
- Product Meets Requirements Before Sale 0/5
- COA Disclosure 0/5
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting and Recall Protocol 7/13
Laboratory Operations 44/50
Independent or Third-Party 0/5
Laboratory Sampling 5/5
Method Validation 4/4
Quality Management Systems 5/5
Staff Training 20/20
Standard Operating Procedures 6/7
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 1/1
- Equipment and Instrument Calibration 1/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Sample Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Records Management 0/1
Result Reporting 4/4
Score Penalties 0/100   
Gives Regulatory Preference to Adult Use 0/20
Classifies Cannabis as a Medicine of Last Resort 0/15
Administrative or Supply Problems 0/15
Requires Vertical Integration 0/10
Creates New Criminal Penalties for Patients 0/10
Limits Patients to a Single Retailer 0/10
No System for Adding Qualifying Conditions 0/10
Imposes Bans or Limits on THC 0/5
Imposes Bans or Limits on CBD 0/5
Excerpted from ASA's 2022 State of the States Report.
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