Rhode Island

State and Relevant Medical Marijuana Laws

Senate Bill 0710 — Approved by state House and Senate, vetoed by the Governor. Veto was over-ridden by House and Senate.


  1. June 24, 2005: passed the House 52 to 10
  2. June 28, 2005: passed the State Senate 33 to 1
  3. June 29, 2005: Gov. Carcieri vetoed the bill
  4. June 30, 2005: Senate overrode the veto 28-6
  5. Jan. 3, 2006: House overrode the veto 59-13 to pass the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act (Public Laws 05-442 and 05-443)
  6. June 21, 2007: Amended by Senate Bill 791

Effective: Jan. 3, 2006

Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, or the treatment of these conditions; A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating, chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to, those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease; or agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease; or any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the state Department of Health.

Possession/Cultivation: Limits the amount of marijuana that can be possessed and grown to up to 12 marijuana plants or 2.5 ounces of cultivated marijuana. Primary caregivers may not possess an amount of marijuana in excess of 24 marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana for qualifying patients to whom he or she is connected through the Department’s registration process.

Amended:H5359 – The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act (substituted for the original bill)


  1. May 20, 2009: passed the House 63-5
  2. June 6, 2009: passed the State Senate 31-2
  3. June 12, 2009: Gov. Carcieri vetoed the bill
  4. June 16, 2009: Senate overrode the veto 35-3
  5. June 16, 2009: House overrode the veto 67-0
    Effective June 16, 2009: Allows the creation of compassion centers, which may acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, or dispense marijuana, or related supplies and educational materials, to registered qualifying patients and their registered primary caregivers. Rules & Regulations last updated Dec. 2012.

The first dispensary, the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center, opened on Apr. 19, 2013. Compassion centers must be operated on a not-for-profit basis.

Contact and Program Details

Rhode Island Department of Health
Office of Health Professions Regulation, Room 104
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097
Phone: 401-222-2828


RI Medical Marijuana Program (MMP)

Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
“Compassion centers are places for patients who have qualifying conditions to obtain medical marijuana as allowed by Rhode Island law. Three compassion centers are licensed in Rhode Island: the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence; Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick; and Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth.”
“Medical Marijuana Compassion Centers,” health.ri.gov (accessed Mar. 1, 2016)

Patient Registry Fee:
$100 / $10 for applicants on Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Accepts other states’ registry ID cards?
Yes, but only for the conditions approved in Rhode Island