Rhode Island Medical Cannabis Laws & Regulations


Patients with a Rhode Island registry ID card may use, possess, and cultivate cannabis for medical purposes. Patients may also appoint up to two primary caregivers for assistance or designate a compassion center as one of the caregivers. The Rhode Island Department of Health will verify patient and caregiver registry ID numbers as valid for law enforcement. Qualified patients and caregivers are entitled to an affirmative defense at trial or dismissal of charges upon demonstrating that they were in compliance. Any property seized in connection with qualified medical use of cannabis is to be returned.

Regulations for Rhode Island’s Medical Marijuana Program were first issued in January 2006. They have since been revised 7 times, the most recent revisions taking place in December 2012. Rules on fees for the program are found separately in the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health.

2014 saw the passage of H 7610 which placed restrictions on cooperative cultivation, requiring criminal background checks for caregivers, and requiring the permanent revocation or disqualification of patients who have been convicted of a felony under Rhode Island or any other state's Controlled Substances Act.