Marijuana Possession, Cultivation Become Legal in Vermont in Less than Two Weeks

On July 1, Vermont will officially become the ninth U.S. state where it’s legal for those 21 and older to possess marijuana for personal use.

The new law – which was signed by Governor Phil Scott in January – will also make Vermont the eighth state where it’s legal to cultivate marijuana for personal use, and the first to do so through state lawmakers (rather than a citizen’s initiative). Specifically, the law allows those 21 and older to grow up to two mature, and four immature plants in a private residence. The possession limit is set at an ounce, although the limit doesn’t apply to marijuana harvested from personally grown plants, as long as it remains stored on-site (in other words someone can grow and possess, say, four ounces, but they can’t leave their house with more than an ounce).

Unfortunately Vermont’s law doesn’t authorize marijuana retail outlets. This makes Vermont the only state where marijuana possession has been legalized that doesn’t allow marijuana stores. However, marijuana advocates continue to push lawmakers to allow such businesses, and are hopeful that lawmakers will get on board in the near future.

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Vermont House Votes to Allow Cops to Administer Saliva Tests for Drugs During Traffic Stops

Vermont’s full House of Representatives gave preliminary approval yesterday to House Bill 237, which would allow law enforcement to administer saliva tests for drugs during traffic stops.

The House gave approval to the measure in a voice vote yesterday after 2.5 hours of debate and after approving several rather inconsequential amendments. Representative David Potter (D), the bill’s primary sponsor, says that under his proposal the saliva tests alone can’t result in an arrest or conviction, though it can play a factor. The measure requires at least two peer-reviewed studies to verify the accuracy of the devices being deployed before they can be used.

According to Potter, overall impairment would still be determined by police who are trained as Drug Recognition Experts, and they would need to consider the “totality of the evidence.”

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Vermont Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law, Takes Effect July 1

As expected, Vermont Governor Phil Scott on Monday officially signed a bill into law that makes marijuana legal for those 21 and  older.

Governor Scott signing H. 511 into law makes Vermont the first state in U.S. history to legalize marijuana through state lawmakers (the other eight states with legal marijuana did so through the initiative process). The new law – which takes full effect on July 1 – allows those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to two mature (and four immature) cannabis plants.

“After more than 15 years of hard work by MPP and our allies in the state, adults in Vermont no longer need to fear being fined or criminalized for low-level marijuana possession and cultivation,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This is a great step forward for the state and the whole region. Responsible adults will soon have the freedom to enjoy a safer option legally, and law enforcement will be free to concentrate on serious crimes with actual victims. We are looking forward to working with lawmakers and state leaders to continue improving marijuana laws in the Green Mountain State.”

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Vermont Governor to Sign Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law Monday

On Monday Vermont will become the 9th state to legalize marijuana, and the first to do so through state lawmakers (all other states with legal marijuana legalized through a citizen initiative).

Governor Phil Scott say he will sign H. 511 into law on Monday, legalizing marijuana for everyone 21 and older. The new law will allow for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and the personal cultivation of up to two mature (or four immature) cannabis plants.

Although eight other states have legalized marijuana (Washington, Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts and California), Vermont on Monday will become the first in U.S. history to do so through the legislative process, and not through an initiative approved by voters. Approval of the law comes just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that provided protections to state-legal marijuana businesses.

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Vermont Senate Approves Bill to Legalize Marijuana, Already Passed House, Governor Expected to Sign

Legislation that would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older has been approved by Vermont’s full Senate.

H. 511 has already been approved by the state’s House of Representatives, meaning it will soon be sent to Governor Phil Scott, who’s expected to quickly sign the measure into law. If he does, the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and the personal cultivation of up to two mature (or four immature) plants would be legal for those 21 and older. H. 511 would make Vermont the ninth state to legalize marijuana, and the first to do so through the legislature (all other states have legalized through the initiative process).

“This is a big step forward for Vermont,” says Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Vermonters should be proud that their state is becoming the first to do this legislatively, rather than by ballot initiative.”

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Vermont Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill

Legislation to legalize marijuana in Vermont has been approved by the state’s House of Representatives.

A bill already approved by the Vermont Senate that would make marijuana legal for adults was passed today by the Vermont House of Representatives with some minor amendments. It will now go to the Senate for a final concurrence vote before being transmitted to Governor Phil Scott. In December, Governor Scott indicated that he intends to sign H. 511 into law.

If H. 511 is signed into law, it would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants, beginning in July. Meanwhile, a governor-appointed task force will issue a final report on how the state should tax and regulate marijuana sales and commercial cultivation by December 15, 2018.

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Vermont Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization Compromise Bill

Vermont’s full Senate approved a bill today that would legalize marijuana, and addresses concerns Governor Phil Scott expressed when he vetoed a similar bill in May.

Legislation that would make marijuana legal for those 21 and older in Vermont was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, the first day of a two-day veto session. House Bill 511 reflects a compromise between legislative leaders and Governor Scott, who vetoed a similar bill in late May. It will now go the House, where passage by a three-quarters vote will put it to the desk of Governor Scott who plans to sign it into law.

The law approved by the Senate would make it legal for those 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis beginning July 2018. It would also be legal to grow up to two mature, nd four immature cannabis plants. In addition, a study commission would be created to develop legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, the amended bill “would extend the time allotted by S. 22 for the commission to submit its report, add additional agency directors and the defender general to the commission, and increase penalties for dispensing marijuana to minors or exposing them to marijuana smoke in cars.”

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Vermont Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana for PTSD, Crohn’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease

A bill expanding Vermont’s medical marijuana program has been signed into law by Governor Phil Scott.

Senate Bill 16 was signed into law yesterday by Governor Scott, following overwhelming approval in the state’s House and Senate. The measure expands Vermont’s medical cannabis program, including adding three new qualifying conditions; post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s Disease and Parkinson’s diseasey.

Senate Bill 16 also doubles the number of medical cannabis dispensaries in the state from four to eight, increase the amount of cannabis a patient can possess to three ounces, and allow patients to grow cannabis at home even when they have a designated dispensary (which wasn’t previously allowed).

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Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Delivered to Vermont Governor

Legislation to expand Vermont’s medical marijuana program – including making PTSD, Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease qualifying conditions – has been delivered to Governor Phil Scott.

Senate Bill 16 was given approval by both the House of Representatives and Senate last month, and on Friday it was officially delivered to Governor Phil Scott. Governor Scott now has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it as he recently did with a bill that would have made Vermont the ninth state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

Senate Bill 16 would double the number of medical cannabis dispensaries in the state from four to eight, increase the amount of cannabis a patient can possess to three ounces, allow patients to grow cannabis at home even when they have a designated dispensary, and would expand the list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions to include post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

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Vermont Governor Vetoes Marijuana Legalization Bill

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has vetoed a bill to legalize marijuana, saying it’s possible a compromise could be reached during the summer.

Senate Bill 22 would have legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and the personal cultivation of up to two mature plants (four immature), for those 21 and older. The measure was approved by the Senate 20 to 9, and by the House of Representatives 79 to 66. The proposal is the first legalization bill to ever be approved by a state legislature (the eight states with legal cannabis did so through the initiative process).

“We are disappointed by the governor’s decision to veto this widely supported legislation, but we are very encouraged by the governor’s offer to work with legislators to pass a legalization bill during the summer veto session”, says Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters want to end marijuana prohibition, and it is critical that the legislature respond by passing a revised legalization bill this summer. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and there is no good reason to continue treating responsible adult consumers like criminals.”

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