Rally & Hearing on Governor’s Proposal on Tuesday

RIPAC is having a rally prior to the hearing on the Governor’s budget this Tuesday, March 29.  The rally will be outside the State House at 3pm.  The hearing will be before the House Finance Committee at 4pm, room 35. If you are planning to testify, keep in mind that you may be limited to 2 or 3 minutes and you may also submit written testimony. Please bring your own signs to the rally.   Please keep calling your state representatives and senators. Tell them to NOT vote for a budget that taxes MMj plants and makes MMj more unaffordable than it already is. Say NO to this sick tax.




Hearing in Tiverton on Monday

A proposed ordinance in Tiverton would restrict all growing to residences. Patients and caregivers would be prohibited from growing in non-residential settings. The following would be prohibited: residential co-ops, non-residential co-ops, compassion centers, marijuana “stores” and cultivation centers.  The public hearing will be on Monday 28 at 7PM at Tiverton Town Hall, 343 Highland Road.

Westerly Ordinance Would Restrict MMj Grows New Hearing Date

The proposed ordinance would restrict growing in ways that are in conflict with the Medical Marijuana Act. Public Hearing has new hearing date – April 18 at 7PM at Westerly Town Hall.   The proposed ordinance would restrict patient grows to patient residences but if a patient lives in a high density zone, they will be prohibited from growing.  In contrast, caregivers would be prohibited from growing in their residences and be forced to rent or buy a site in a commercial or industrial zone. Residential co-ops would be banned. Here is a summary of the proposed ordinance:

Patients – Would restrict patients to growing in their own residences but prohibit growing in high density residential zoning districts (HDR-6). Other proposed requirements for patient grows:

  • grow area must be 10 feet from heat or electrical source
  • must have “proper ventilation” to prohibit mold
  • must have smoke detectors in grow rooms that are hard wired
  • if modifications made to electrical, plumbing, or mechanical services, grow rooms must be inspected by building and fire dept. Must also obtain zoning certificate
  • grow area must have two means of egress
  • if renting, must have notarized approval of landlord which must be reviewed and approved by town


Caregivers – would not be allowed to grow in residential zones – caregiver grows would be restricted to commercial and industrial zones. Other proposed requirements:

  • must be 500 feet from schools, churches, playgrounds, athletic fields, preschools
  • grow room must be 10 feet from heat or electrical source
  • must have “proper ventilation” to prohibit mold
  • must have monitored fire alarm system with hard wired smoke detector in grow rooms
  • must have carbon filters
  • grow area must have two means of egress
  • must have zoning certificate, inspection by fire dept. and appropriate  permits from building dept.
  • If renting, must have notarized approval of landlord which must be reviewed and approved by town


Residential Co-ops – Prohibited in all zones
Non-residential Co-ops – by special use permit only (public hearing). Must have zoning certificate, appropriate permits from building dept. and inspection by fire dept. in addition to other requirements contained in the current co-op statute.

 Compassion Centers – only in industrial zones by special permit

Use of ALL SOLVENTS, including but not limited to butane, would be PROHIBITED


Update on Governor’s Proposal

Hearing on Governor’s proposal, (article 14 of budget) will be on Tuesday, March 29, room 35 at the State House at 4PM. 
Thank you to all who have been making calls and educating legislators.  Keep up the good work!  We have been getting some great feedback and this is no time to stop.  Your state rep and senator need to know how this proposal would affect patients’ access to medicine. They need to make a commitment to NOT vote for a budget that has the Governor’s proposal in it. If you can set up a meeting to talk to your state rep or senator, you should.  If you would like someone from RIPAC to go with you, we can do that. Please act now and do not wait for someone else to make the calls.  Pat Ford set up a Flash Mob phone page that has helpful resources and phone numbers:  http://www.coalitionradio.us/medical-cannabis-telephone-flash-mob.html
The Governor is reacting to all the pushback  she has received by assigning staff to better understand the MMj Program and modify her proposal. Her staff has made it clear that she is determined to require tags for all plants. They are talking about the possibility of reducing the price of tags but they will not retract the “sick tax”. Tell your state rep and senator how you feel about patients being targeted to pay taxes. A modified tax is misguided and unacceptable. Patients deserve to have support from lawmakers, not be burdened with taxes because they have the misfortune to suffer from a serious debilitating medical condition. We have so many patients in the Program that have successfully discontinued use of opioids. They are afraid that they will revert back to addictive narcotics because that is what will be affordable to them. Please make your calls and plan to attend hearing if you can.

Hearing on Governor’s Proposal, March 29

There will be a hearing on the Governor’s proposal to tax , reduce plant counts and make other major changes to MMj program at 4PM Tuesday March 29, Room 35 at the State House.

The Governor’s office has indicated that they are working to amend the original proposal. We will keep you posted. In the meanwhile, it is critical to educate legislators as to how taxes and plant reductions will affect patients.  A summary of the proposal is on our website if you scroll down.