There will be a referendum on cannabis stores in EG on the November ballot
The Town Council voted 5-0 Monday to place a referendum on the November ballot asking East Greenwich voters if they will allow the town to host marijuana stores. Gov. Dan McKee signed a bill into law in May making cannabis legal in Rhode Island. Initially, there will be 24 pot shops so it’s unclear that East Greenwich would even get one, but in the law, only those communities that specifically vote against having cannabis stores can exclude them. The Town Council decided residents should weigh in.
“It is enough of an unsettled issue so we felt it was reasonable to take advantage of this referendum option,” Council President Mark Schwager said after the meeting.
Regardless of the referendum outcome, Schwager said the town needs ordinances to control the use of marijuana. Right now, tobacco smoking is not allowed on town property. It’s easy to imagine that being extended to marijuana smoking as well. Smoking is also prohibited from restaurants, but in Massachusetts they are starting to look into cannabis “bars,” where people can smoke indoors legally. That would be similar to the cigar bars in town now, with an emphasis on smoking, but with some prepared foods available for purchase.
Read more about how some town officials are reacting to marijuana legalization HERE.