According to WPRI, in the first week of sales for adults-only, dispensaries in Rhode Island raked in more than $1.63 million.
The total sales of cannabis add up to about $786,000 worth of cannabis for adults and $845,400 worth of cannabis for medical use. The first week of cannabis sales should bring in about $133,600 in taxes for the state. About $23,500 of those taxes will go to the local governments that host the shops. The state taxes cannabis sales for adult use at 20%, while medical sales are only taxed at 7%.
Rhode Island has also stopped charging fees for medical cannabis patients to sign up for the program or renew their registration. Sales for adults will start on December 1. The state also expects to make less money because cannabis-related court fees will no longer be collected after a lot of marijuana possession charges were dropped. The state’s Office of Management and Budget says that after paying for everything, the expected $5.9 million in cannabis tax revenue for this fiscal year will bring in only $368,000.
According to an article The Center Square, after initially being against legalization, Governor Dan McKee recommended a gradual rollout of the policy. The bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by McKee in May.
“The reality is that prohibition does not stop cannabis use,” Mckee said when he signed the legalization bill into law. “Since Rhode Islanders can already access cannabis just across the state border or on the illicit market, we experience all the challenges without any of the safeguards or resources that our neighboring states have.”
Rhode Island joined the ranks of the 19 U.S. states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Adults over the age of 21 will be able to legally buy and carry one ounce of cannabis, keep ten ounces at home, and cultivate six plants.