With all of the state legislatures being in session and the current state of momentum in the cannabis policy reform movement, it is no surprise that many states are seeing marijuana bills and other proposals come through for consideration. The State of Vermont is no exception.
Just recently, the Vermont Senate voted 21-9 in favor of a bill that would legalize marijuana for adults in the State and would create a regulatory agency on the production and sale of marijuana. This is not surprising, considering the recent news from New Hampshire and the other New England States that legalized recreational/adult-use cannabis laws this past election cycle.
According to the Vermont Townhall
The bill had previously been brought up in 2016, but had failed in the House. This amended version includes protection for people who grow the drug in their homes. This bill also removed penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Now, it’s on the House to vote on the bill. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) has taken a “not now” approach to legalization.
The bill would regulate the production and sale of marijuana in Vermont and eliminate penalties for personal possession and home cultivation by adults 21 and older.
It also would allow unlimited small-scale, licensed grow operations of no more than 500 square feet. It does not include edibles.
The bill would tax marijuana growers and retail shops and would fund a significant youth prevention and education campaign.
The House Judiciary Committee already passed a legalization bill with a 8-3 vote, but it has not yet been introduced on the House floor.
To date, 8 states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized marijuana for recreational/adult-use. Unlike Vermont, all of these states legalized marijuana via a ballot measure, not the through their state legislatures. If Vermont does legalize marijuana, it will be the third New England state to do so, joining Maine and Massachusetts.