Rhode Island Senate Committee Passes House-Approved Marijuana Advertising Bill

A key Senate committee in Rhode Island has given approval to legislation that would allow local marijuana businesses to advertise their products and services, something that is currently prohibited.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted yesterday to pass House Bill 5829, a little over a month after the House of Representatives passed it in a unanimous 67 to 0 vote. The measure, filed by State Representative Scott A. Slater, will need to be passed by the full Senate before it can be sent to Governor Daniel McKee for consideration.

Under current law out-of-state marijuana businesses are allowed to advertise their services in Rhode Island (those who live in the state have probably noticed numerous billboards along the highway for Massachusetts-based marijuana stores). However, the law prohibits local marijuana stores and dispensaries that are located within Rhode Island from placing such ads. House Bill 5829 would change this by explicitly giving local marijuana businesses permission to advertise.

“Now that Rhode Island’s recreational cannabis industry is up and running, our dispensaries are facing a significant obstacle when competing with our neighbors in Massachusetts and Connecticut,” said Representative Slater. “This bill will correct this inequity while also supporting these new local businesses in Rhode Island by hopefully keeping Rhode Islanders from crossing the border to shop for their cannabis in neighboring states”.

Under the proposed law the state Office of Cannabis Regulation would be permitted to provide forms, procedures, and requirements for the advertisement of cannabis products within Rhode Island.

For the full language of House Bill 5829, click here.

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