Press Release

Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol TODAY

Jun 02, 2015

Supporters of S 510 are expected to give testimony at the Rise of the Senate

PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing today regarding a bill that would make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. Supporters of the bill, including a policy expert with experience in implementing and analyzing marijuana regulations in Colorado, are expected to testify.

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, or S 510, would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space. It would create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities and direct the Department of Business Regulation to create rules regulating security, labeling, and health and safety requirements. It would also establish wholesale excise taxes at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store, as well as a special sales tax on retail sales to consumers.

One of the expected speakers, Jordan Wellington, worked closely with the Colorado state government to establish the systems called for by the 2012 passage of a ballot initiative, Amendment 64, which made retail marijuana legal for adults there. In 2013, Wellington served as the sole legislative staffer assigned to shepherd the legislation relating to the implementation of Amendment 64 and the legalization of marijuana through the Colorado General Assembly. Wellington was then hired by the Colorado Department of Revenue's Marijuana Enforcement Division to serve as the sole policy analyst during the development and drafting of the rules governing retail marijuana and the revised rules governing medical marijuana.

WHAT: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for S 510, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act

WHEN: Rise of the Senate (around 4:30 p.m.)

WHERE: Rhode Island State House, Room 313, 82 Smith Street, Providence

WHO: Jordan Wellington, Vicente Sederberg LLC

Michelle McKenzie, MPH, public health researcher

Elizabeth Comery, JD, retired attorney and former Providence police officer

Andrew Horwitz, assistant dean at Roger Williams Law School

Jim Vincent, president of the Providence NAACP

Jared Moffat, Director of Regulate Rhode Island

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Regulate Rhode Island is a coalition of citizens and organizations committed to ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit