TITLE 2
Agriculture and Forestry

CHAPTER 2-26
Hemp Growth Act

SECTION 2-26-5


§ 2-26-5. Authority over licensing and sales.

(a) The department shall prescribe rules and regulations for the licensing and regulation of hemp growers, handlers, licensed CBD distributors, and licensed CBD retailers and persons employed by the applicant not inconsistent with law, to carry into effect the provision of this chapter and shall be responsible for the enforcement of the licensing.

(b) All growers, handlers, licensed CBD distributors, and licensed CBD retailers must have a hemp license issued by the department. All production, distribution, and retail sale of hemp-derived consumable CBD products must be consistent with any applicable state or local food processing and safety regulations, and the applicant shall be responsible to ensure its compliance with the regulations and any applicable food safety licensing requirements, including, but not limited to, those promulgated by the department of health.

(c) The application for a hemp license shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1)(i) The name and address of the applicant who will supervise, manage, or direct the growing and handling of hemp and the names and addresses of any person or entity partnering or providing consulting services regarding the growing or handling of hemp; and

(ii) The name and address of the applicant who will supervise, manage, or direct the distribution or sale of hemp-derived consumable CBD products, and names and addresses of any person or entity partnering or providing consulting services regarding the distribution or sale of hemp-derived CBD products.

(2) A certificate of analysis that the seeds or plants obtained for cultivation are of a type and variety that do not exceed the maximum concentration of delta-9 THC, as set forth in § 2-26-3; any seeds that are obtained from a federal agency are presumed not to exceed the maximum concentration and do not require a certificate of analysis.

(3)(i) The location of the facility, including the Global Positioning System location, and other field reference information as may be required by the department with a tracking program and security layout to ensure that all hemp grown is tracked and monitored from seed to distribution outlets; and

(ii) The location of the facility and other information as may be required by the department as to where the distribution or sale of hemp-derived consumable CBD products will occur.

(4) An explanation of the seed-to-sale tracking, cultivation method, extraction method, and certificate of analysis or certificate of analysis for the standard hemp seeds or hemp product if required by the department.

(5) Verification, prior to planting any seed, that the plant to be grown is of a type and variety of hemp that will produce a delta-9 THC concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry-weight basis.

(6) Documentation that the licensee and/or its agents have entered into a purchase agreement with a hemp handler, processor, distributor, or retailer.

(7) All applicants:

(i) Shall apply to the state police, attorney general, or local law enforcement for a National Criminal Identification records check that shall include fingerprints submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon the discovery of a disqualifying conviction defined in subsections (c)(7)(iv) and (c)(7)(v), and in accordance with the rules promulgated by the department, the state police shall inform the applicant, in writing, of the nature of the conviction, and the state police shall notify the department, in writing, without disclosing the nature of the conviction, that a conviction has been found;

(ii) In those situations in which no conviction has been found, the state police shall inform the applicant and the department, in writing, of this fact;

(iii) All applicants shall be responsible for any expense associated with the criminal background check with fingerprints.

(iv) Any applicant who has been convicted of any felony offense under chapter 28 of title 21, or any person who has been convicted of murder; manslaughter; first-degree sexual assault; second-degree sexual assault; first-degree child molestation; second-degree child molestation; kidnapping; first-degree arson; second-degree arson; mayhem; robbery; burglary; breaking and entering; assault with a dangerous weapon; or any assault and battery punishable as a felony or assault with intent to commit any offense punishable as a felony, shall be disqualified from holding any license or permit under this chapter. The department shall notify any applicant, in writing, of a denial of a license pursuant to this subsection.

(v) For purposes of this section, "conviction" means, in addition to judgments of conviction entered by a court subsequent to a finding of guilty, or plea of guilty, those instances where the defendant has entered a plea of nolo contendere and has received a jail sentence or a suspended jail sentence, or those instances wherein the defendant has entered into a deferred sentence agreement with the Rhode Island attorney general and the period of deferment has not been completed.

(8) Any other information as set forth in rules and regulations as required by the department.

(d) [Deleted by P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 15, § 1].

(e) The department shall issue a hemp license to the grower or handler applicant if he, she, or it meets the requirements of this chapter, upon the applicant paying a licensure fee of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). The license shall be renewed every two (2) years upon payment of a two thousand five hundred dollar ($2,500) renewal fee. Any licensee convicted of any disqualifying offense described in subsection (c)(7)(iv) shall have his, her, or its license revoked. All license fees shall be directed to the department to help defray the cost of enforcement. The department shall collect a nonrefundable application fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each application to obtain a license.

(f) Any grower or handler license applicant or license holder may also apply for and be issued one (1) CBD distributor and/or one (1) CBD retailer license at no additional cost, provided their grower or handler license is issued or renewed. CBD distributor and CBD retailer licenses shall be renewed each year at no additional fee provided the applicant also holds or renews a grower and/or handler license.

(g) For applicants who do not hold, renew, or receive a grower or handler license, CBD distributor and CBD retailer licenses shall have a licensure fee of five hundred dollars ($500). The licenses shall be renewed each year upon approval by the department and payment of a five hundred dollar ($500) renewal fee.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2016, ch. 441, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 442, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 15, § 1.)