PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island marijuana dispensary owners are rejoicing after lawmakers approved legislation last week that allows them to advertise statewide.
Gov. Dan McKee signed the legislation into law on Monday, allowing the state’s Office of Cannabis Regulation to provide dispensaries with the forms, procedures and requirements for advertising of recreational cannabis.
Even though Rhode Island became the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana last year, dispensaries in the state were barred from advertising due to a regulation connected to their license.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts dispensaries have been free to advertise in Rhode Island without restriction.
“The prohibition on advertising for our state’s cannabis products has put this young and growing industry at a significant disadvantage when competing against our neighboring states’ cannabis operations,” Sen. Jonathon Acosta said. “Seeing advertisements for Massachusetts cannabis products right in the middle of Providence is an inequality that this bill will rectify, allowing our own state’s businesses to grow and flourish.”
Joe Pakuris, owner of Mother Earth Wellness, defied the state’s advertising ban last month by installing billboards for his dispensary along I-95.
The state ordered