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Rhode Island Governor Wants State-Controlled Recreational Marijuana Shops

January 16, 2020

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo wants to legalize recreational marijuana and have the state control stores that sell it and take 61 percent of net revenue.

Raimondo projects $39.6 million coming to the state from sales pot – which Is currently illegal in Rhode Island – during the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2022, according to the Providence Journal.

Administration officials liken the envisioned state-controlled recreational marijuana stores to state-controlled liquor stores in New Hampshire.

Raimondo, a Democrat, is proposing the state’s first $10 billion-plus budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2020.

The speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Nicholas Mattiello, wants to ditch the state’s municipal excise tax on cars, but the governor wants to “slow … the elimination,” so that the first fiscal year without the tax would be the one that begins July 1, 2028, according to the Providence Journal.

Both the Speaker and the Senate President, Dominick Ruggerio, oppose legalizing marijuana and expressed disappointment with the inclusion of projected marijuana revenue in the governor’s proposed budget.

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