Tax and Regulate

Vermont: Don’t miss two upcoming events to build momentum for cannabis regulation

Mark your calendar for a panel discussion December 5 and a state house advocacy day on January 9 — then write your representatives and tell them Vermont urgently needs to begin regulating cannabis in early 2020!

The Vermont House of Representatives missed an important opportunity when it adjourned in May without taking action on S. 54, the bill that would legalize and regulate cannabis sales in Vermont. Fortunately, House leaders have said the bill — which has already passed the Senate 23-5 — will be “a top priority” when the legislature reconvenes in January.

Gov. Phil Scott still has not pledged his support for S. 54, so advocates are not taking success in 2020 for granted. To keep the discussion going, Attorney General T.J. Donovan’s office will be hosting a public forum on the issue on Thursday, December 5. Here are the details:

WHAT: Conversation about Cannabis: Lessons from our Neighbors

WHERE:
 Contois Auditorium, 149 Church Street, Burlington

WHEN:
 Thursday, December 5, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

WHO:
 Erik Gunderson, Maine Office of Marijuana Policy
Kevin Conroy, Foley Hoag
Charlotte Hanna, Community Growth Partners
Laura Subin, Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana
Joe Bergeron, Association of Vermont Credit Unions
David Mickenberg, Mickenberg, Dunn, and Smith, PLC

You can read a summary of S. 54, as approved by the House Government Operations Committee, here.

Please also mark your calendars for January 9, 2020. We will be kicking off the legislative session with a lobby day at the State House starting at 8:00 a.m., joined by our allies at Heady Vermont and other key coalition members, and we would love to have you join us. You can RSVP here.

Finally, please contact your representatives now and urge them to support passage of S. 54. Then, share this message with your family and friends!

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Prohibition

University of Vermont to Host Public Forum on Marijuana Policy

Legislative leaders in Montpelier are describing last week’s victory in Massachusetts as a “game changer” for Vermont. This week, Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, told a VPR reporter, “For me, that’s a game-changer, that Massachusetts has voted to legalize. Rep. Maxine Grad, chair of the equally powerful House Judiciary Committee, agreed and said she thought the House would be much more amenable to ending marijuana prohibition now that legalization is definitely coming to a neighboring state.university_of_vermont
It is critical that we continue building momentum for legalization and regulation. We had a very successful event this week, and we’re looking forward to another great event called “Cannabis on Campus” on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the University of Vermont. Here are the details:
WHAT: Cannabis on Campus: The Implications of Reform in Vermont and Beyond
(This event is free and open to the public.)
WHO: Hosted by the Community Development and Applied Economics Department at UVM in partnership with Heady Vermont. Program includes presentations on medical cannabis and hemp, and a debate between MPP’s Matt Simon and SAM-VT’s Margo Austin about legalization and regulation for adult use.
WHEN: Thursday, December 1
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Dudley H. Davis Student Center
University of Vermont
590 Main St.
Burlington, VT 05405
Please forward this message to your friends and family. If you use Facebook, please RSVP and share the event page.

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Medical Marijuana

Two Vermont Dispensaries Begin Serving Patients

[caption id="attachment_6634" align="alignright" width="240"]CVD VT Champlain Valley Dispensary[/caption]

Vermont’s medical marijuana patients have finally been afforded a safe, legal option that doesn’t require the hassle of cultivating marijuana plants! As reported by The Burlington Free Press, two dispensaries have now opened their doors to patients: Vermont Patients Alliance held a “soft opening” late last week in Montpelier and Champlain Valley Dispensary opened Monday in Burlington.

The Free Press reported that both dispensaries are now open three days a week. A third dispensary has been approved and plans to locate in Brandon. A total of four dispensaries are allowed under the law MPP and our allies worked hard to pass in 2011.

These dispensaries will expand access and make life much easier for many patients. However, there is still room for improvement in Vermont’s medical marijuana law. For example, it only allows a maximum of 1,000 patients to be served by dispensaries. Additionally, patients who designate a dispensary are no longer permitted to cultivate their own plants.

State-regulated dispensaries are now open in the following seven states: NM, ME, CO, AZ, NJ, RI, and VT. State-regulated dispensaries are allowed, but have not yet been selected, in four additional states: MA, CT, NV, and DE. In the District of Columbia, dispensaries should be serving patients soon.

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