- Associated Press - Monday, December 9, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island agencies have proposed a new regulation on the sale of medical marijuana that would require out-of-state patients to present identification from their state as proof of residency.

Last year, state lawmakers began allowing dispensaries to sell to out-of-state residents, and 6,500 people who were Rhode Island residents changed their patient card addresses to California, according to the Providence Journal.

Many patients are looking to California because the patient-card rules there are more relaxed there than they are in Rhode Island, the paper reported.

“(The California card) was easier to afford. … I make no money and have a lot of medical bills to pay,” user Alexa Coffey said.

Critics of the proposal for out-of-state patients to provide ID say Rhode Island’s rules are already very complicated. They worry this could push patients to purchase off the black market or in Massachusetts.

“We need to stop making people jump through hoops,” Greenleaf Compassion Center retail manager Jeff Pietrefesa said.

The Department of Business Regulation will accept public comment through Dec. 21.

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