Rhode Island’s top cannabis regulator was quizzed about a range of cannabis-related topics during a local TV news interview last week, including preparations to issue new retail licenses, the availability of hemp-derived cannabinoids, and an error in state-reported sales data that was identified by Marijuana Moment.

Cannabis Control Commission Chair Kimberly Ahern appeared on WPRI-TV’s “Newsmakers”, emphasizing that regulators are working to take a measured approach to steward the state’s adult-use market, which opened for sales through existing medical cannabis dispensaries in December of last year.

Ahern called the coming round of licensing, under which the state is expected to issue 24 new adult-use retail licenses, “one of the most important decisions the commission has to make in the coming months and year.” Currently, only nine medical dispensaries are licensed statewide.

“We can’t issue licenses until we get the playbook right,” she insisted, noting the need for “a fair set of rules” grounded in state law and “a thoughtful and deliberate process to understand what other states have done.” “The goal would be to issue licenses in 2024 with the huge caveat that other states that have done this have taken several years,” Ahern said.

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