Rhode Island’s governor Gina Raimondo has recently called for a huge increase in the number of MMJ dispensaries and a growth of licensing fees in order to generate additional $1.5 million in revenue.
According to the Providence Journal, the Democratic governor has proposed a budget amendment to expand the number of licensed weed centers to no less than six medical cannabis dispensaries.
Currently, only three dispensaries located in Portsmouth, Warwick, and Providence are operating in Rhode Island. Each of them will be allowed to open a second retail-only shop. Together, that will add up to nine cannabis points of sale.
However, all three of the state’s dispensaries do not support the bill aimed to create more medical cannabis businesses and thus increase competition. They claim that the demand is not high enough to open any additional centers.
Rhode Island has about 16,000 MMJ patients. However, according to Thomas Mullaney, State Budget Officer, new cannabis centers would be located in “underserved areas.”
The governor’s bill would also increase the application fees of compassion centers from $250 to a whopping $5,000 and annual licensing fees from $5,000 to $25,000.