The governor of Rhode Island on Thursday unveiled his budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year, and it includes a plan to legalize marijuana in the state. The move comes two days after legislative leaders introduced their own bill to tax and regulate cannabis sales. While there are a number of differences, the lawmakers and administrative officials signaled that they intend to work together as they move through the process. Gov. Dan McKee’s (D) proposal calls for 25 marijuana retailers to be licensed each year for the first three years of implementation. Those would be awarded on a lottery basis, but five would be specifically given to minority-owned businesses, a category that also includes firms run by women. Additional licenses would be issued in the future based on demand. Sales would begin in April 2022. The plan calls for a “strictly regulated legal market for adult-use marijuana” that is “anchored in principles of equity and public health and safety,” an executive summary of the budget proposal says. Cannabis sales would be taxed at 17 percent, which includes the state’s seven percent sales tax and a special excise tax of 10 percent.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 03/11/2021 18:14:00

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