Title 21
Food and Drugs

Chapter 31
Rhode Island Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-31-3

§ 21-31-3. Prohibited acts.

The following acts and the causing of those acts within the state of Rhode Island are prohibited:

(1) The manufacture, sale, or delivery, or holding or offering for sale of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.

(2) The adulteration or misbranding of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic.

(3) The receipt in commerce of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded, and the delivery or proferred delivery of it for pay or otherwise.

(4) The sale, delivery for sale, holding for sale, or offering for sale of any article in violation of § 21-31-12 or 21-31-16.

(5) The dissemination of any false advertisement.

(6) The refusal to permit entry or inspection, or to permit the taking of a sample, as authorized by § 21-31-21.

(7) The giving of a guaranty of undertaking which guaranty or undertaking is false, except by a person who relied on a guaranty or undertaking to the same effect signed by, and containing the name and address of, the person residing in the state of Rhode Island from whom he or she received in good faith the food, drug, device, or cosmetic.

(8) The removal or disposal of a detained or embargoed article in violation of § 21-31-6.

(9) The alteration, mutilation, destruction, obliteration, or removal of the whole or any part of the labeling of, or the doing of any other act with respect to, a food, drug, device, or cosmetic, if that act is done while the article is held for sale and results in the article’s being adulterated or misbranded.

(10) Forging, counterfeiting, simulating, or falsely representing, or without proper authority using, any mark, stamp, tag, label, or other identification device authorized or required by regulations promulgated under the provisions of this chapter.

(11) The using, on the labeling of any drug or in any advertisement relating to the drug, of any representation or suggestion that any application with respect to the drug is effective under § 21-31-16, or that the drug complies with the provisions of that section.

(12)(i) The possession of any habit-forming, toxic, harmful, or new drug subject to § 21-31-15(a)(11)(i) unless the possession of that drug has been obtained by a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to administer those drugs; provided, that the provisions of this subdivision shall not be applicable to the delivery of those drugs to persons included in any of the classes named below, or to the agents or employees of these persons, for use in the usual course of their official duties, as the case may be, or to the possession of those drugs by these persons or their agents or employees for that use: (A) pharmacists; (B) practitioners; (C) persons who procure the drugs for disposition by or under the supervision of pharmacists or practitioners employed by them or for the purpose of lawful research, teaching, or testing, and not for resale; (D) hospitals or other institutions which procure the drugs for lawful administration by practitioners; (E) officers or employees of federal, state, or local governments; (F) manufacturers and wholesalers lawfully engaged in selling those drugs to authorized persons; and (G) common carriers and warehouse operators while engaged in lawfully transporting or storing the drugs for authorized persons.

(ii) The possession of a drug under paragraph (i) of this subdivision not properly labeled to indicate that possession is by a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to administer the drug by any person not exempted under this chapter shall be prima facie evidence that the possession is unlawful; provided, that the provisions of this paragraph shall not be applicable where a portion of the whole amount of a drug lawfully obtained under the provisions of this chapter not in excess of an amount sufficient to meet the medical requirements of the patient in any twenty-four (24) consecutive hours, as indicated in the directions for use by the practitioner prescribing or dispensing the drug, is possessed in a container to suit the convenience of the patient.

(13) The sale of all unprocessed and/or uncooked fish, shellfish, and scallops by retail markets and other retailers without a label indicating whether the fish, shellfish, or scallops have ever been frozen.

(14) The making, issuing, or uttering of any false or forged prescription.

(15) The processing or selling or holding for sale of any “distressed merchandise” in this state without a permit from the director of health.

(16) The holding, selling, or offering for sale of any food (or drug) which has been condemned or voluntarily disposed of by action of the director of health.

(17) Use of the term “native” unless used as defined in § 21-31-2. The retail consumer has a right to know and the retailer shall provide upon request the origin of nonnative uncooked and/or unprocessed shellfish and/or scallops.

History of Section.
P.L. 1959, ch. 56, § 1; P.L. 1973, ch. 222, § 1; P.L. 1975, ch. 267, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 81, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 187, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 64.