Will recreational marijuana be coming to East Greenwich?
Local officials, store owners weigh in on the legalization of cannabis in RI and what it could mean for tax revenue.
EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WLNE) — Boasting a boost in revenue for local municipalities across the state of Rhode Island, the legalization of marijuana signed yesterday by Gov. Dan McKee means adults 21 years or older will now be able to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis from approved retailers.
Those sales can officially start in approved businesses on Dec. 1, 2022.
For towns like East Greenwhich, the decision of whether or not to approve licenses for dispensaries will be up to a vote by city council members.
“I think people are tuning in now that it’s a reality,” said East Greenwich Council President Mark Schwager. “I think in the past we were waiting for it to go through. Now it’s signed, it’s legislation, and it’s the opportunity for people in the community to weigh in.”
Just down the street, the co-owner of the CBD Center of Rhode Island said he’s waiting patiently for the chance to apply as one of the first to provide recreational marijuana sales in the state.
“It’s foolish not to have it within our own states and have municipalities benefit from it,” said Matt Resnick, who says he’s heard of people traveling outside state lines to legally purchase marijuana from reputable sources.
While some have shared their concerns over impaired driving, local shop owner says he believes it’s less about legalization and more about the individual.
“It’s an individual decision — alcohol, cannabis. That individual is going to do that and get on the road whether this is recreational or not,” he said.
According to the new law, a person can have up to 10 ounces in their car and one ounce on their person.
“I truly believe that Rhode Islanders as a whole have been waiting for this,” said Resnick. “I think they’re going to welcome this with open arms.”