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Marijuana Laws and Policies in Vermont

Despite the whole USA technically prohibiting cannabis at a federal level, many states within the country have actually started passing their own laws regarding marijuana and cannabis consumption. In fact, rarely will you see a state in the USA that has not yet legalized medical marijuana! However, there is still a lot of work to be done with regards to adult-use cannabis. One of the few states in the US that has actually achieved the authorization of recreational Marijuana is Vermont.

In addition to the breathtaking landscapes and tourists spots in store for you in Vermont, people will find its marijuana scene pretty darn interesting! From being allowed to smoke cannabis to planting your own weed gardens, it is hard to find anything wrong with how Vermont deals with marijuana. In this article, we are going to cover some of the most important facts about Vermont’s marijuana industry. Let’s begin!

History of Cannabis in Vermont

Cannabis prohibition and outlawing was a worldwide trend that the majority of the world followed during the early 1900s. After studies had proven its psychoactive and mind-altering components to be the main reason for fluctuations in a person’s behavior, cannabis was initially banned in many places around the USA.

The state of Vermont was one of the very first US territories that followed suit in vetoing all production and distribution of marijuana in the country. This state-wide law took place in 1915, a few years before the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was implemented which outlawed marijuana across the USA at a federal level.

Medical marijuana was not legal in the state of Vermont until May of 2004. This was when the Act Relating to Regulation of Cannabis, which was also called the Senate Bill 76, was approved by way of voting through Vermont residents. The law, however, did not contain a well-detailed framework for the medical marijuana program to operate. Things were later corrected and discrepancies were resolved via the Senate Bill No. 7, which also expanded the list of qualifying conditions for Vermont’s medical marijuana program.

Legalization of recreational cannabis:

The decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of weed followed shortly after medical marijuana was authorized for use. In June 2013, state officials decided to reduce the charges of cannabis possession in small amounts to a civil infraction instead of criminal infractions.

Talks of legalizing the adult use of marijuana did not start until the later parts of 2014, when studies showed that the economy of Vermont could earn a significant increase of up to $75 million in tax revenues yearly if recreational cannabis was legalized. After a few years filled with back-and-forths among legislative officials, state officials finally came to an agreement in 2018.

During the year, HB 511 or Act 86 was then approved of. This removed all penalties and fines for the possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana within the stated limits of the law. Vermont officially became one of the few US territories to legalize marijuana for both adult and medicinal utilization.

In 2020, the sale and distribution of recreational cannabis was legalized via the Vermont S. 54. This paved the way for local establishments, small business owners, and various cannabis cultivators to operate their businesses within the state’s borders for cannabis distribution.

Cannabis Regulation Body

The medical marijuana program of Vermont was initially governed by the Department of Public Safety. This office, in turn, oversees the Vermont Marijuana Registry (VMR) that is the main body responsible for the application and licensing of medical patients, caregivers, and physicians. They are also tasked with distributing medical marijuana cards and coming up with the rules and qualifying conditions for the medical marijuana program in the state of Vermont.

However, the passing of the S. 54 law in the year 2020 also called for the establishment of Vermont’s very own Cannabis Control Board (CCB). In addition to governing the sales, consumption, and cultivation of adult-use cannabis, all operations regarding medical marijuana will fall under the CCB. This will take place in March 2021.

Medical Cannabis

The state of Vermont has made good use of medical marijuana throughout the years. Because it has been made legal since 2004, access to marijuana for health treatment has been no problem for residents of the state. After its legalization was approved by voting residents, two other subsequent bills were passed in order to expand the framework covered by the medical marijuana program.

Today, marijuana and CBD products (including hemp) are made readily available from a number of dispensaries, clinics, and even local shops across the whole state. Medical marijuana is often used for treating these conditions: AIDS/HIV, Cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Anxiety, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Pain, Multiple Sclerosis, as well as other conditions subject to the recommendations of qualified physicians and the CCB.

Legal Age, Purchasing, and Possession of Cannabis

Legal age:

Consistent with other US states that legalize recreational cannabis in its area, the minimum age that residents must be to make use of such is 21 years old or above. As long as they meet the age requirements (proven with the presentation of a valid ID), adults in Vermont will be allowed to consume, possess, and cultivate cannabis in the state.

Minors will also be allowed to make use of the medical marijuana program. However, those who are below the age of 18 years old will need their parents’ consent as well have their parents act as their primary guardians. All caregivers who wish to act in such capacity will also need to be at least 21 years old and duly registered with the Vermont Marijuana Registry.

Purchasing locations and possession limits:

There are currently no retail establishments that distribute recreational cannabis for adult-use. Taxation and regulation systems for the cannabis market in Vermont have only begun to make its way into law in October 2020. Plans of establishing establishments and dispensaries for recreational marijuana supplies may come later in 2021 to 2022.

As of now, only medical marijuana dispensaries are available in the state of Vermont. Only licensed dispensaries and government-mandated distributors are permitted to sell medical marijuana to patients and/or their caregivers.

Adults in Vermont are allowed to carry (in public) and purchase (per transaction) up to one ounce of marijuana products at any given time. Patients, on the other hand, have a limit of two ounces of marijuana products for their treatments.

Consumption and Cultivation of Cannabis

Consumption limits:

All cannabis use and consumption activities are limited to only private and/or indoor domiciles. All users of cannabis, whether for medical or recreational consumption, are strictly banned from consuming marijuana in public places where large groups of people will usually gather. These places include public gyms, basketball courts, inside malls, schools, universities, religious worship places, and the like.

Consuming cannabis inside a vehicle, whether being operated or parked out in a public place, is strictly prohibited as well. Doing so will result in a fine of up to $200, depending on the degree of the violation.

Cannabis cultivation:

The limit for cannabis cultivation in Vermont for both medical and recreational growers is two flowering plants along with seven seedlings. Any plants grown in a rented space will need the consent of the landowner.

All cannabis plants grown must be hidden away from public view and kept in an enclosed area. The number of marijuana buds produced by your plants as well as the amount of marijuana stored at home does not affect the possession limits in public places.

The Green Mountain State truly is a wondrous place to visit. With the abundance of natural landscapes and parks to mark your trips, Vermont’s cannabis scene only makes things much more appealing. It is a state with some very open and accepting laws that allow citizens and tourists alike to make use of the marijuana found there.