Rhode Island Marijuana Laws

Only patients registered with the state’s medical marijuana program can legally use and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The program allows home cultivation with a limit of 12 mature plants and 12 seedlings. Recreational possession of one ounce or less is considered a civil crime for first-time offenders.

Rhode Island marijuana laws
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Rhode Islanders smoke more marijuana per capita than residents of any other state, yet the drug is illegal for all non-medical uses. Possession of small amounts for recreation is decriminalized and carries only a small fine.

Possession

Possession of cannabis for personal use is a civil violation if the amount is less than 1 ounce; a fine of $150 is imposed. For possession of between 1 ounce and 1 kilogram, the offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and $500 in fines.

Possession of larger amounts is automatically treated as possession with intent to distribute. This is a felony and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 50 years, and a top fine of $500,000. For amounts greater than 5 kilograms, the incarceration increases to at least 25 years and as much as life in prison.

Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute it carries double penalties if it occurs within 300 yards of a school.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine

Personal Use

Less than 1 oz Civil Violation None $ 150
1 oz – 1 kg Misdemeanor 1 year $ 500

With Intent to Distribute

1 – 5 kg Felony 10* – 50 years $ 500,000
More than 5 kg Felony 25 years* – life $ 100,000
Within 300 yards of a school may result in double penalty.
* Mandatory minimum sentence

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Sale and Cultivation

It is a felony in Rhode Island to sell, distribute, or cultivate any amount of cannabis. Sale or cultivation of less than 1 kilogram is punishable by no more than 30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Sale or cultivation of more than 1 kilogram comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 50 years, and a top fine of $500,000. For amounts greater than 5 kilograms, incarceration increases to at least 20 years and as much as life in prison.

Sale to a minor at least 3 years younger than the seller is also a felony and is punishable by between 2 and 5 years in prison, plus up to $100,000. Selling marijuana within 300 yards of a school can lead to double penalties.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Less than 1 kg Felony 30 years $ 100,000
1 – 5 kg Felony 10* – 50 years $ 500,000
More than 5 kg Felony 20 years* – life $ 10,000
To a minor at least three years younger Felony 2 – 5 years $ 100,000
Within 300 yards of a school may result in double penalty.
* Mandatory minimum sentence

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Hash and Concentrates

There are no special rules for hashish, hash oil, or other cannabis concentrates in Rhode Island. Instead, concentrates are subject to the same weight limits and penalties as traditional marijuana bud.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

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Paraphernalia

Marijuana paraphernalia is banned in Rhode Island unless it’s intended, marketed, and used solely for legal purposes. Otherwise, manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession are unclassified offenses with a top penalty of two years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor is also an unclassified offense and comes with a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison and $5,000.

Paraphernalia includes any items intended for use with the cultivation, processing, harvesting, testing, analysis, storage, inhaling, ingesting, or otherwise introducing of marijuana to the body.

Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine
Manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession with intent to sell or deliver Not Classified 2 years $ 5,000
Delivery to a person under 18 years Not Classified 5 years $ 5,000

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Miscellaneous

Possession while driving will result in a driver’s license suspension for a period of 6 months.

Medical Marijuana

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law became effective in 2006, allowing the medicinal use, possession and cultivation of cannabis for qualifying patients.

QUALIFYING CONDITIONS:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Austism
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Seizures
  • Other conditions are subject to approval

PATIENT POSSESSION LIMITS:
Two and a half ounces

HOME CULTIVATION:
Yes. Up to 12 mature plants and 12 seedlings are permitted within an indoor facility.

Two or more cardholders are permitted to cooperate in the cultivation of cannabis in residential/non-residential locations subject to the following:

Non-residential – no more than 10 ounces of useable cannabis, 48 mature plants and 48 seedlings are allowed.
Residential – no more than 10 ounces of usable cannabis, 24 mature plants and 24 seedlings are allowed.

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES:
Yes, no more than nine are allowed

CAREGIVERS:
Yes. Caregivers must be aged 21 or older and a primary caregiver may assist no more than five qualifying patients at any one time.

RECIPROCITY:
Yes. Patients with a debilitating medical condition and a registry identification card are permitted to engage in the medical use of cannabis.

Marijuana Attorney Directory

Rhode Island Marijuana Attorneys

The following Rhode Island lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law: