The legislature is planning to resume its work soon — email your elected officials now and urge them to make passage of S. 54 a top priority!
Vermont’s economy has been crippled in recent months by COVID-19. It is unfortunate that adult-use cannabis businesses were not already operating before the pandemic arrived, because they could have provided an important source of jobs and tax revenue during the crisis. Fortunately, the legislature will have an opportunity to finish its work and pass a final version of S. 54, the bill to legalize and regulate sales, when it resumes work in late August.
To help inform policymakers as they prepare to contemplate final revisions to S. 54, we asked our allies at the cannabis-focused law firm Vicente Sederberg, LLP to analyze the demand for adult-use cannabis in Vermont and project the expected revenues associated with S. 54. Their detailed report, which was published today, illustrates how regulating cannabis markets can help Vermont recover from the economic recession.
The report, which is based on the most accurate and current data available, suggests that previous revenue estimates by the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) are probably much lower than what would be produced if S. 54 becomes law. Additionally, the report examines what would happen if the legislature amends S. 54 to allow for early-start sales, and it projects that Vermont could generate over $175 million in cannabis taxes through 2025 if it chooses to do so.
The bill, which has already passed the House (90-54) and the Senate (23-5), awaits action from a conference committee that has been formed to work out a final version of the bill. You can read a summary of S. 54 here.
Again, please contact your elected officials and urge them to make this bill a top priority. After you do so, please share this message with your family and friends!