Throughout her first term as Governor of Rhode Island, Democrat Gina Raimondo fought efforts to move the state toward legalizing cannabis. But at the start of her second term, Gov. Raimondo is waving the white flag, conceding that unless Rhode Island wants to be an actual island of prohibition surrounded by legal marijuana states, and that it’s time for it to adopt its own framework for a taxed and regulated industry.
Rhode Island Governor Surrenders to Regional Momentum Toward Legalization
Earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed a state budget plan that included legalizing cannabis. In New Jersey, lawmakers are currently working on a regulatory framework for an adult-use industry. Connecticut’s new governor, Ned Lamont, is making marijuana legalization one of the state’s legislative priorities in 2019. And late last year, Massachusetts opened its first retail cannabis shops after legalizing adult use in 2016. Indeed, “things have changed,” as Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo told The Providence Journal.
And they’re changing quickly in a region that has long lagged behind the western U.S. in terms of cannabis legislation. Now, in the face of the “inevitable” prospect of Rhode Island’s neighbors’ legalization, Gov. Raimondo says that by week’s end she’ll