Rhode Island

Rhode Island's Blockchain RFP Provides Opportunity to Disrupt Seed-to-Sale Technology

Rhode Island has issued a request for proposal for vendors to help the state understand whether blockchain technology can improve the security and efficiency of various state processes including medical marijuana seed-to-sale tracking. Responses must be submitted to the state by June 21, 2019.

The state issued the RFP for a proof of concept to determine how blockchain can make state functions more efficient and cost effective. The state has identified possible use cases including fraud reduction, contract management, medical marijuana tracking, and chain of custody for criminal matters.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that records each step in a supply chain or transaction. Blockchain technology can be on a public network, such that everyone can see and access the information on the chain, or it can be on a private network, such that only persons in the network can access the information.  

Blockchain technologies would be an optimal solution for seed-to-sale tracking system as it would provide regulators with real-time transparency into cannabis inventory levels, and the movement of cannabis through the supply chain. The information captured in the distributed ledger is secured and cannot be changed.

Rhode Island: Industrial Hemp Program Goes Live October 9th

Rhode Island’s industrial hemp regulations become effective on October 9th, which will allow the cultivation of industrial hemp for use in manufacturing hemp products including those for human consumption. Rhode Island is rushing along with other states to implement industrial hemp cultivation and production facilities, and garner an increasing market for hemp products including CBD human and pet products. In some states, CBD produced from industrial hemp may be sold outside of a licensed dispensary.

On October 9, applications for grower or handler licenses can be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation. Growers must obtain a separate license for each noncontiguous parcel on which industrial hemp will be cultivated.

The regulations are similar to those that are currently being considered by Oregon, and set forth a regulatory framework for the growing, testing, and tracking of industrial hemp from seed to consumption. The DBR will participate in the sampling of industrial hemp prior to harvest or production. The sample must be tested by an approved testing facility for compliance with the maximum 0.3% THC level. Industrial hemp that is intended for human consumption is subject to additional testing and packaging/labeling requirements.


The public comment period is ending on August 31st for the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program being proposed by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation.  The proposed rules permits industrial hemp growers and handlers to register and obtain a license to grow hemp for the purpose of performing  agricultural or academic research. Applications must include a detailed description of the applicant's research proposal. Prior to issuing a license, the Department may visit the grow site to confirm information that is included in the application and to review the operations.  A sampling of the hemp crop must be tested prior to harvest or production to ensure that the THC level is lower than 0.3%.  The hemp must be entered into the state's seed-to-sale tracking system, and can only be sold to another licensee.

Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program