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RI Marijuana Qualification

Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in Rhode Island

While Senate Bill 0710 was initially approved in June 2005, it spent a number of years being suspended as it was vetoed and then over-ridden. Finally, in January 03, 2006, the House ultimately overrode the veto, passing the “Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act”, effectively removing all state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana by patients in possession of a written letter from a physician stating that he or she may benefit from the medical use of marijuana for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.

What are the Medical Marijuana Qualifications in Rhode Island

Patients in Rhode Island diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law, as per Senate Bill 0710 — “Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act”:

How to Become A Medical Marijuana Patient in Rhode Island

  1. Patients must be a resident in the state of Rhode Island with proof of residency. If you do not have a Rhode Island I.D. an out of state I.D., passport, or other photo I.D. with proof of residency such as bank statement, utility bill, etc is acceptable.
  2. The qualifying patient must have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.
  3. Patients must obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from his/her primary care physician describing his/her diagnosis. Ensure to bring all records with to the marijuana evaluation appointment — *Learn how to request your medical records
  4. The Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Program (RIMMP) requires all patients to have an established, bonafide doctor/patient relationship, which in some cases may take several appointments, to establish — *Find a certified medical marijuana physician in Rhode Island
  5. Once the patient has been certified, the patient MUST register with the RIMMP Patient Registry. Registration is mandatory in order for patients to ensure protection under Rhode Island medical marijuana law 


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Medical Marijuana Access in Rhode Island

Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore, doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

Rhode Island medical marijuana law allows qualified and registered patients or appointed primary caregivers, to cultivate and possess no more than twelve cannabis plants, and five ounces of usable medical marijuana.

Considerations for Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

In April 2017, Rhode Island state legislators were considering a bill that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state. This is not only good news for recreational users, but also for patients who meet medical marijuana qualifications in Rhode Island. The reason is that if the bill becomes law, it would be much easier for people suffering from a wide range of medical issues to legally obtain medical cannabis.

One of the main reasons for the legalization push is that many state leaders want to beat the neighboring state of Massachusetts in making legal weed available to users. Recreational weed is legal in Massachusetts, but legislators recently voted to delay the opening of dispensaries until the middle of 2018 at the earliest.

Several Rhode Island state leaders believe legal pot could generate substantial tax revenues that would otherwise go to Massachusetts once dispensaries in that state open. Proponents believe that if pot were made legal in Rhode Island, it wouldn’t take very long until dispensaries would be ready to supply recreational weed.

Legislators in Rhode Island have debated the legalization of pot for the last several years but have yet to vote on the issue. Critics of the bill are concerned that certain details have yet to be ironed out, such as how edible cannabis products would be regulated.

In another major development regarding marijuana in Rhode Island, the state Superior Court was scheduled to hear a case involving a woman’s allegation that she suffered job discrimination because she is a medical marijuana user. The American Civil Liberties Union sued on the woman’s behalf, stating that the woman, a student at the University of Rhode Island, lost an internship at a fabrics store after disclosing she used medical cannabis.

If you would like to learn more about Rhode Island medical marijuana qualifications, how to obtain a medical cannabis card or anything else, turn to on a regular basis.

Finally, a helpful & informative website! answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO