Due to snowstorm tonight, Tuesday January 31, we are canceling the Johnston meeting which takes place on the last Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be on Monday February 6 at the Bell Street Chapel , 3 Bell Street in Providence at 7pm. All are welcome. this is a great opportunity to get answers to your questions about the MMj program.
Patients and caregivers who are growing plants are required to have tags on their plants by April 1. Please scroll down on this website for more info. One of the most frequent questions is whether or not patient and caregiver gardens will be subject to routine or surprise inspections by DBR or Health Dept. The short answer is no. There is a provision in the new DBR regulations for inspections but they will not be routine or surprise. If DBR has reason to believe their is non-compliance, they can send a letter expressing those concerns to the patient or caregiver. If no response after 10 days, they can send another letter. If still no response they can call or possibly email. Only after that can they even attempt to schedule a visit to the garden. DBR does not have the right to just show up and demand access to anyone’s garden. Here are the inspection regulations:
DBR Processes for Monitoring and Verifying Compliance with Tagging Requirements and Marijuana Plant Possession Limits
1. If DBR has reasonable grounds to believe that a medical marijuana plant tag holder, a primary caregiver who has not obtained or renewed tags, or a qualified patient cardholder who has made an election to grow who has not obtained or renewed tags, may be in violation of the tagging requirements and/or plant possession limits set forth in the Act and/or these regulations, the below steps may be taken to verify compliance or prompt the person to come into compliance.
2. First Written Notice: A written notice may be sent to the person explaining the tagging requirements and plant possession limits set forth in the Act and these regulations and why the DBR has reason to believe the person may be out of compliance and outlining the information the person may provide and/or the action(s) the person may take to verify or come into compliance. The recipient will have ten (10) business days from the date of mailing to reply to this notice.
3. Second Written Notice: If the recipient fails to respond to the first written notice with information that verifies compliance or fails to take the necessary actions to come into compliance, a second written notice may be sent and the recipient will have an additional ten (10) business days from the date of mailing to reply.
4. Alternative Contact Attempt: If the recipient fails to respond to the second written notice with information that verifies compliance or fails to take the necessary actions to come into compliance, the DBR may attempt to contact the person utilizing other contact methods through information provided on any tag purchasing form submitted to DBR (e.g. telephone) or other contact information reasonably obtained by DBR (e.g. public telephone listings).
5. Reasonable Inspection: If an alternative contact attempt has been unsuccessful or, if after ten (10) business days following an alternative contact, the person has not yet provided information that verifies compliance or taken the necessary actions to come into compliance, then the person may be subject to reasonable inspection by DBR to ensure compliance with the tagging requirements and plant possession limits set forth in the Act and these regulations. DBR shall make an effort to schedule inspections in advance.
Patients and their caregivers can order their plant tags through the DBR (Department of Business Regulation) website: http://www.dbr.ri.gov/divisions/medicalmarijuana/#medtags After completing the forms, the DBR will verify the information with DoH and then notify the patient or caregiver the amount due for the tags with payment instructions. The process will likely take 3-4 weeks. The tags can later be picked up at DBR in Cranston.
All patients and caregivers are required to have a tag on each plant by April 1. The cost is 25 dollars for each set. A set is two tags, one for a mature plant and one for a seedling. Patients on SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, Railroad Disability and Disabled Veterans will receive free tags. Caregivers growing for patients who qualify for free tags will also receive free tags for those patients. A caregiver must have a minimum of one set of tags for each patient they are growing for.
Before completing the form, caregivers should determine how many plants they will be growing for each patient and know whether or not the patient will qualify for free tags.