Rhode Islanders to vote on cannabis companies, retailers in their backyard

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)– 31 of 39 municipalities in Rhode Island will voice their opinion on cannabis businesses and retailers in their community this election day.

The legislation, legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana, passed this May in Rhode Island.

North Providence’s Mayor, Charles Lombardi, urged his community to vote against the referendum this week.

“I think it would make it much too easy to buy this,” said Lombardi. “I never smoked cigarettes. I’m not really into this type of recreation. I believe it would do more harm than good.”

For Lombardi and other leaders across Rhode Island municipalities, this decision will be out of their hands, and in their hands of voters.

Senator Joshua Miller, who sponsored the legislation that passed this May, believes it would be unwise for any community to vote against hosting cannabis companies.

“They would be missing out on 3% of all sales,” said Miller. “It could be 3% of at least $100 million. So, it could be a lot of money.”

Miller believes regardless of election day results; marijuana distribution will continue.

“That black market of cannabis is not tested,” explained Miller. “It’s sold by someone that is potentially selling other substances. It’s a safer way to sell retail in an environment that could be dangerous to consumers.”

The results of the vote Tuesday will be final in the municipalities.

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