Title 21
Food and Drugs

Chapter 28.11
The Rhode Island Cannabis Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-28.11-18.1

§ 21-28.11-18.1. Cannabis office.

(a) There is hereby established the “cannabis office”. The director of the department of business regulation shall grant to the cannabis office reasonable access to appropriate physical accommodations and expert and other appropriate staff.

(b) Upon final issuance of the commission’s rules and regulations, whenever in the general laws, rules or regulations the term “office of cannabis regulation” appears, the term shall mean the “cannabis office” established pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(c) The administrator of the cannabis office shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate and shall be in the unclassified service.

(d) The administrator of the cannabis office shall report to the commission, and consistent with the provisions of this chapter and in furtherance of coordinating the oversight and administration of cannabis use shall have the following powers, duties and responsibilities:

(1) Exercise the powers and perform duties as directed and delegated by the commission in relation to the administration of the cannabis office, including, but not limited to, budgetary and fiscal matters;

(2) Advise and assist the commission in carrying out any of the commission’s functions, powers, and duties;

(3) As authorized by the commission, enter into contracts, memoranda of understanding, and agreements to effectuate the policy and purpose of this chapter;

(4) Prescribe forms of applications for licenses under this chapter;

(5) Prepare reports and information as deemed necessary by the commission;

(6) Inspect or provide for inspections of any licensed premises where cannabis is cultivated, processed, stored, distributed or sold as directed or authorized by the commission;

(7) Provide office accommodations, hearing rooms, and direct administrative and personnel support and staff to the commission in order to carry out the commission’s duties and responsibilities;

(8) Maintain records of regulations, licenses, and permits issued and revoked by the commission in a manner that information is readily available regarding identity of licensees, including the names of officers and directors of corporate licensees and the location of all licensed premises;

(9) Delegate the powers provided in this section to employees as may be deemed appropriate;

(10) Coordinate across state agencies and departments to conduct research and to study cannabis use and the regulated cannabis industry and the impact access to cannabis products may have on public health and public safety;

(11) Issue guidance and industry advisories;

(12) Study the administration and alignment of cannabis regulation and as necessary make recommendations to the commission to improve administration;

(13) As directed by the commission, coordinate with the staff designated by the respective directors of each state agency regarding adult use of cannabis, medical cannabis and industrial hemp with the objective of producing positive economic, public safety, and health outcomes for the state and its citizens;

(14) As directed by the commission, offer guidance to and communicate with municipal officials regarding the implementation and enforcement of this chapter and chapter 28.6 of this title; and

(15) As directed by the commission, communicate with regulatory officials from other states that allow cannabis for adult use and medical cannabis use, and benefit from the experiences of those states.

(e) Subject to appropriation by the general assembly, the administrator of the cannabis office is authorized to retain and employ employees of the office of cannabis regulation as employees in the cannabis office who shall remain in the classified service. Any proposed new hires or additional staff or employees to be employed by the cannabis office shall be approved by the commission and shall be in the classified service. Any employees hired by the office of cannabis regulation after the enactment of this chapter and prior to the appointment of the commission shall be in the classified service.

History of Section.
P.L. 2022, ch. 31, § 1, effective May 25, 2022; P.L. 2022, ch. 32, § 1, effective May 25, 2022.