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Rhode Island: Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Marijuana Legalization Bill

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The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a Tuesday hearing regarding a bill that would make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. Supporters of the bill, including a policy expert with experience in implementing and analyzing marijuana regulations in Colorado, are expected to testify.

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, or S 510, would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space. It would create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities and direct the Department of Business Regulation to create rules regulating security, labeling, and health and safety requirements.

It would also establish wholesale excise taxes at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store, as well as a special sales tax on retail sales to consumers.

One of the expected speakers, Jordan Wellington, worked closely with the Colorado state government to establish the systems called for by the 2012 passage of a ballot initiative, Amendment 64, which made retail marijuana legal for adults there. In 2013, Wellington served as the sole legislative staffer assigned to shepherd the legislation relating to the implementation of Amendment 64 and the legalization of marijuana through the Colorado General Assembly.

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