PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers are considering requiring medical marijuana dispensaries to pay 50 times more for their licenses, making the fee the highest in New England by far.
The latest budget proposes increasing the annual fee from $5,000 to $250,000.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it would align Rhode Island with other states and he doesn’t think dispensaries would mind.
New Hampshire has charged up to $80,000. The fee is $50,000 in Massachusetts, $25,000 in Vermont, $12,000 in Maine and $5,000 in Connecticut.
Chris Reilly, spokesman for the state’s largest dispensary, The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center, says the shop was more concerned about the governor’s plan to expand the number of licenses than about paying a higher fee.
Rhode Island lawmakers decided not to grant more licenses. The House votes on the budget Friday.
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