While the state of Vermont has yet to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, it still has one of the most progressive stances in the U.S. Vermont legalized medical marijuana over a decade ago, and has decriminalized simple possession. Citizens remain optimistic that Vermont will be one of the next to legalize recreational marijuana, despite that a bill to end marijuana prohibition was voted down by the House in June 2016 because of opposition to its language.
Recreational Marijuana in Vermont
While recreational marijuana remains illegal, Vermont’s adult use policy has been relatively progressive. The state passed a decriminalization bill in 2013, making the possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana a civil violation rather than subject to potential jail time with escalating fines. Vermont’s decriminalization law is one of the most forgiving of those passed so far. However, the possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana, or any amounts of hash or concentrates, is still a criminal act subject to jail time and fines.
Medical Marijuana in Vermont
Vermont first legalized medical marijuana on May 26, 2004, and since then two amendments have been made to further clarify the marijuana rights of patients. Under the law, registered patients may possess up to 2 ounces of usable marijuana, or grow 2 mature plants and 7 immature plants. As the law stands now, patients must decide between growing their own marijuana and buying cannabis from a dispensary.
Patients must have a minimum of a 3-month relationship with a medical provider before that provider can recommend medical marijuana.
In an effort to deal with the nation’s opioid epidemic, in July 2016 Gov. Peter Shumlin signed Senate Bill 14 to expand the state’s medical marijuana program to those with glaucoma, chronic pain and patients under hospice care. In June 2017, Vermont lawmakers approved Senate Bill 19 to expand the list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions to include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
As of now, medical marijuana is approved for the following conditions in Vermont:
- Crohn’s Disease
- HIV / AIDS
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Patients in Hospice Care
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Diseases or conditions that produce the following symptoms:
CBD from Hemp Oil in Vermont
Consumption of CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products. The state of Vermont has no further policy specifically related to CBD hemp oil, so it is legal to purchase and use.
Cultivation and Distribution of Cannabis in Vermont
The cultivation of marijuana for recreational purposes is still a misdemeanor. Qualified medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to grow up to 2 mature plants and 7 immature plants.
Vermont has also legalized the growing of industrial hemp. Senate Bill 157, passed by lawmakers in 2013, allows qualified growers to become licensed to grow hemp as an agricultural crop for research purposes.
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