File image. [Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch]
Medical pot shops in Rhode Island may have to pay 50 times more for their licenses — the highest fee by far in New England.
The latest draft of the state budget, scheduled for a vote Friday, proposes increasing the annual fee to renew a license from $5,000 to $250,000.
When a concerned lawmaker asked House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello about the increase during a budget briefing Tuesday, the Democrat said it would align Rhode Island with other states and he didn’t think dispensaries would mind.
“We’re in line with other states, from what I was informed,” Mattiello later told NBC 10 News.
Other states in the region charge significantly less. New Hampshire has charged up to $80,000, but they now use a formula that is expected to reduce the payments this year. The fee is $50,000 in Massachusetts, $25,000 in Vermont, $12,000 in Maine and $5,000 in Connecticut.
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