TITLE 21
Food And Drugs

CHAPTER 21-28.6
The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act

SECTION 21-28.6-15


§ 21-28.6-15 Medical marijuana plant tags.

(a) Effective January 1, 2017, the department of business regulation shall make medical marijuana tag sets available for purchase. Effective April 1, 2017, every marijuana plant, either mature or seedling, grown by a registered patient or primary caregiver, must be accompanied by a physical medical marijuana tag purchased through the department of business regulation and issued by the department of health to qualifying patients and primary caregivers or by the department of business regulation to licensed cultivators.

(1) The department of business regulation shall charge an annual fee for each medical marijuana tag set, which shall include one tag for a mature medical marijuana plant and one tag for a seedling. If the required fee has not been paid, those medical marijuana tags shall be considered expired and invalid. The fee established by the department of business regulation shall be in accordance with the following requirements:

(i) For patient cardholders authorized to grow medical marijuana by the department of health, the fee per tag set shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25);

(ii) For primary caregivers, the fee per tag set shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25);

(iii) For patients who qualify for reduced registration due to income or disability status, there shall be no fee per tag set;

(iv) For caregivers who provide care for a patient cardholder who qualifies for reduced-registration due to income or disability status, there shall be no fee per tag set for such qualifying patient; and

(v) For licensed cultivators, the fee per tag set shall be established in regulations promulgated by the department of business regulation.

(2) Effective January 1, 2017, the department of business regulation shall verify with the department of health that all medical marijuana tag purchases are made by qualifying patient cardholders or primary caregiver cardholders. The department of health shall provide this verification according to qualifying patients' and primary caregivers' registry identification numbers and without providing access to any applications or supporting information submitted by qualifying patients to protect patient confidentiality;

(3) Effective January 1, 2019, and thereafter, the department of business regulation shall verify with the department of health that all medical marijuana tag purchases are made by registered patient cardholders, who have notified the department of health of their election to grow medical marijuana, or primary caregiver cardholders. The department of health shall provide this verification according to qualifying patients' and primary caregivers' registry identification numbers and without providing access to any applications or supporting information submitted by qualifying patients to protect patient confidentiality;

(4) The department of business regulation shall maintain information pertaining to medical marijuana tags and shall share that information with the department of health.

(5) All primary caregivers shall purchase at least one medical marijuana tag for each patient under their care and all patients growing medical marijuana for themselves shall purchase at least one medical marijuana tag.

(6) All licensed cultivators shall purchase at least one medical marijuana tag.

(7) The departments of business regulation and health shall jointly promulgate regulations to establish a process by which medical marijuana tags may be returned to either department. The department of business regulation may choose to reimburse a portion or the entire amount of any fees paid for medical marijuana tags that are subsequently returned.

(b) Enforcement:

(1) If a patient cardholder, primary caregiver cardholder, or licensed cultivator violates any provision of this chapter or the regulations promulgated hereunder as determined by the departments of business regulation and health, his or her medical marijuana tags may be revoked. In addition, the department that issued the cardholder's registration or the license may revoke the cardholder's registration or license pursuant to § 21-28.6-9.

(2) The department of business regulation may revoke and not reissue, pursuant to regulations, medical marijuana tags to any cardholder or licensee who is convicted of; placed on probation; whose case is filed pursuant to § 12-10-12 where the defendant pleads nolo contendere; or whose case is deferred pursuant to § 12-19-19 where the defendant pleads nolo contendere for any felony offense under chapter 28 of title 21 ("Rhode Island Controlled Substances Act") or a similar offense from any other jurisdiction.

(3) If a patient cardholder, primary caregiver cardholder, licensed cooperative cultivation, or licensed cultivator is found to have mature marijuana plants without valid medical marijuana tags, the department or health or department of business regulation shall impose an administrative penalty on the patient cardholder, primary caregiver cardholder, licensed cooperative cultivation, or licensed cultivator for each untagged mature marijuana plant not in excess of the limits set forth in § 21-28.6-4, § 21-28.6-14 and § 21-28.6-16 of no more than the total fee that would be paid by a cardholder or licensee who purchased medical marijuana tags for such plants in compliance with this chapter.

(4) If a patient cardholder, primary caregiver cardholder, or licensed cooperative cultivation is found to have mature marijuana plants exceeding the limits set forth in § 21-28.6-4, § 21-28.6-14, and § 21-28.6-16 in addition to any penalties that may be imposed pursuant to § 21-28.6-9, the department of health or department of business regulation may impose an administrative penalty on that cardholder or license holder for each mature marijuana plant in excess of the applicable statutory limit of no less than the total fee that would be paid by a cardholder who purchased medical marijuana tags for such plants in compliance with this chapter.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2016, ch. 142, art. 14, § 2.)