PAWTUCKET — Marijuana retailer Joe Pakuris’ defiant revolt against what he calls Rhode Island’s unfair ban on pot advertising was short lived.
On Sunday, the three Interstate 95 billboards he erected days earlier came down under threat from state regulators that his Mother Earth Wellness dispensary would otherwise face a $10,000-a-day fine and Pakuris could lose his license to sell marijuana to both medical patients and recreational users.
“I think it’s totally unfair and negligent on DBR’s part that they haven’t amended this ridiculous ban since the beginning of the program,” Pakuris said. The Department of Business Regulation “has done nothing to get this program off the ground.”
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Lawmakers approved recreational sale of marijuana last May, but it took Gov. Dan McKee a full year to name three nominees to a new Cannabis Control Commission, which among other duties, is tasked with reviewing advertising rules established a decade ago when the medical marijuana program began.