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Marijuana in Rhode Island

Recreational use of marijuana by adults is legal in Rhode Island.

In Rhode Island, it is legal to consume adult-use recreational marijuana. Dispensaries that have previously only sold medical marijuana are now licensed to sell it for recreational use as well, and more dispensaries will open throughout the state in the coming months and years. Smoking cannabis is now legal everywhere cigarettes are permitted. However, note that the new law contains language that allows communities to ban or restrict smoking cannabis in public places, and that the maximum amount you can legally hold is one ounce. Also, any civil violations, misdemeanors, or felony convictions for cannabis possession that is now legal under the law will be expunged from court records.  

Cannabis in Rhode Island


As is the case with other New England states, Rhode Island has its on-water personality, it off-the-water personality, plus a few more for its urban and rural faces. The on-water parts of the state, like the sandy beaches of South County and Newport, and the rocky shoreline of Jamestown, is a huge draw for summer people. In all seasons of the year, visitors enjoy the small cities of Newport – with many original, Colonial-era buildings and street, along with sailing, mansions, and shopping on the wharves – and the capital city of Providence. Providence is getting renowned for its dining scene, juiced up by a bustling Little Italy neighborhood and the presence of a major culinary college. Visiting any of these places is delightfully enhanced, in mind and body, by a preliminary toke or nibble of cannabis. Luckily, the state is small enough that dispensaries are readily accessible no matter where you decide to visit. 


Rhode Island’s beaches are famous, but slightly less-known, perhaps, are the pleasures of exploring Little Rhody’s inland areas, like the historic Blackstone Valley, named for the Blackstone River. Up to World War II, this river was a workhorse of industry driven by water power. In fact, the first water-powered textile plant in the nation was created in Pawtucket when Samuel Slater built the Slater Mill (still standing, and hosting tours) with plans he had stolen from England. Now the river valley is a place for hiking, biking, paddling, and tasting ethnic cuisine, from French-Canadian, a gift of the region’s earlier mill workers, to the more-recent Asian and Hispanic. Feeling the munchies from that last round of marijuana? Providence and the small towns of the Blackstone Valley offer adventurous dining.


Culturally, Providence is a busy place. Major live theaters include Providence Performing Arts Center, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Trinity Repertory Company, The Gamm Theater (in nearby Warwick), and many other small places. The big three theaters, downtown, host major productions of Broadway-caliber shows. Visit any of these theaters’ productions with a brain enhanced by THC, and you may enjoy an extra-profound experience. Art museums, including one associated with Rhode Island School of Design, are found in Providence and Newport. Historic home museums, many telling the stories of the state’s founding by Roger Williams in 1636, are out in the pretty countryside, calling you to a delightful drive.


As a shoreline state, Rhode Island clearly knows how to cook and serve seafood (in fact, the state’s official appetizer is calamari). In Newport, you can dine in any of the dozens of casual or more-formal restaurants on the city’s restored wharves, facing sunset and the sails in motion in Newport harbor. Providence has a positively authentic Little Italy neighborhood called Federal Hill. In fact, Providence is home to Johnson & Wales University, a national culinary school. Many Providence restaurateurs stepped right out of that college and into innovative kitchens in the city. Be sure to bring your weed-induced appetite; you won’t be disappointed.

For questions about how to handle & talk about cannabis with your kids, please click here.

State Laws


  • It is legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in Rhode Island. Anything between one and two ounces is a civil violation, like a parking ticket.


  • There are currently several medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island; beginning on December 1, 2022, these dispensaries will offer recreational cannabis in addition to medical. The new law also allows up to 33 new retail licenses to be distributed in six zones statewide.

Smoking in Public:

  • You may smoke marijuana in public, in any place where you are allowed to smoke tobacco.

Driving Under the Influence:

  • Possession while driving will result in a driver's license suspension for a period of 6 months. This state has a drugged driving law. People may not drive a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug in their body.

Medical Marijuana:

Use these links for recreational marijuana laws for each New England state:
Cannabis in Connecticut
Cannabis in Massachusetts
Cannabis in Vermont
Cannabis in New Hampshire
Cannabis in Maine

Cannabis Disclaimer
Cannabis Disclaimer

Cannabis/marijuana products have not been analyzed or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using such products, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of Edibles may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of Rhode Island.
  • Please Consume Responsibly.
  • Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.
  • For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children.
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