WPRI 12 report
Rhode Island leaders are inching closer to a agreement on legalizing recreational marijuana, but have still not settled on what sort of governing body will oversee, regulate and issue retail licenses in the potentially lucrative market for legal cannabis.
State Sen. Josh Miller, the lead sponsor of a recreational marijuana bill that passed the Senate in June, said the sticking point in negotiations remains whether a separate cannabis commission should be formed — as called for by the Senate bill — or if the retail program should be overseen by the R.I. Department of Business Regulation.
Target 12 has learned the State House negotiations have included discussion about a combination of the two structures, with the group looking at New York’s new legal cannabis structure as a possible model.
Several other disagreements have been generally settled, Miller said Tuesday. The possibility of up to 150 cannabis shops envisioned by the original draft of the Senate bill has been whittled down significantly to something in the dozens, he told a crowd during a Media & Politics Cafe about cannabis policy at Johnson & Wales University.
“We’re probably down to more in the 30, 40 range,” he told the audience, noting that he had to “dodge and weave” around some of their specific questions because of the ongoing negotiations. (A 12 News reporter also participated in the panel.)
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