Rhode Island Cannabis License Guidelines

Rhode Island Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

The Rhode Island Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program implements the provisions of the Medical Marijuana Act and regulations for registered patients, caregivers and authorized purchasers. The Medical Marijuana Program accepts, reviews, and approves patient, caregiver and authorized purchaser applications and renewals.

A primary caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of Rhode Island. A primary caregiver can assist no more than five patients with their use of medical marijuana. Patients are limited to one caregiver.

Patients must indicate on their application whether they plan to grow medical marijuana plants for themselves. Patients who will grow marijuana and all primary caregivers must register their grow location with the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Everyone who grows marijuana, whether a patient or primary caregiver, must purchase plant tags from the Department of Business Regulation and is subject to their rules and regulations for tag use.

Rhode Island Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Rhode Island commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:


How long does it take for a patient or caregiver to be licensed?

On average, it takes five to 10 days.

How much is the application fee?

The patient fee is $50. The caregiver fee is $100. The authorized purchaser fee is $50. If a patient or caregiver receives one of these benefits and can provide proof, the fee is $25: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, veterans’ disability, or federal railroad disability.

What is the difference between a caregiver and an authorized purchaser?

A caregiver can grow their own marijuana or buy marijuana from a compassion center, and may have up to five patients. An authorized purchaser can only buy marijuana at a compassion center and may only have one patient.

What does RIDOH license medical marijuana laboratories for?

Laboratories are licensed to collect samples of medical marijuana from cultivators and producers of medical marijuana products.  

Laboratories are licensed to analyze the potency of THC, THCa, CBD and CBDa in cannabis flower-based products, pressed products, extracted products and infused products. 

Laboratories may be licensed to analyze product contaminants including microbiological, water activity, pesticides, metals, residual solvents.

Will I have to apply for a new license if my laboratory is going to change location?

Yes. A new preliminary application is required when a laboratory moves or opens a facility in a new location.

Rhode Island Cannabis License Types


Currently, there are over 60 licensed cultivators for the medical cannabis compassion centers with one pending approval. At this time no new cultivation licenses for cannabis are being issued however, with recreational cannabis being approved, that could be changing soon.

Cultivation Licenses are divided into 5 categories:

  • Micro-license 0 – 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Class A 0 – 5000 sq. ft.
  • Class B 5,001 – 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Class C 10,001 – 15,000 sq. ft.
  • Class D 15,001 – 20,000 sq. ft.

All categories of cultivator applications shall be accompanied by a non-
refundable application fee of $5,000.

License Class Size of Facility* Annual License Fee

  • Micro-license 0 – 2,500 sq. ft. $5,000
  • Class A 0 – 5000 sq. ft. $20,000
  • Class B 5,001 – 10,000 sq. ft. $35,000
  • Class C 10,001 – 15,000 sq. ft. $50,000
  • Class D 15,001 – 20,000 sq. ft. $80,000

Compassion Centers

Four compassion centers currently hold licenses in Rhode Island to sell medical marijuana to those that qualify for the program.  At this time registration for new compassion centers is closed.  

Once registration opens again for a compassion center license it will cost a non-refundable  $10,000 fee just to apply.  

A registration fee of $500,000 is due annually.

Cannabis Laboratory Testing Centers

Registration for lab testing is currently open in Rhode Island.  The preliminary application fee is $5,000 and an additional fee is not required with the final application. 

If you are interested in applying it is via mail only.  There are several steps involved in the application process. Download the preliminary license application and follow the instructions on Page 2: https://health.ri.gov/applications/MMTestingLabPreliminary.pdf

Recreational Cannabis Dispensary

At this time the laws are still being finalized so the requirements and rules surrounding dispensaries are unknown.

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