A new bill to make marijuana legal for adults and regulated similarly to alcohol in Vermont will be introduced next month, according to bill sponsors.
The Times Argus reports:
Legislation to be introduced next month when lawmakers return to the State House would allow those 21 and older to grow and possess marijuana for recreational use as early as July.
The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Jeanette White, D-Windham, and Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, would allow for lounges, where customers could purchase and use marijuana, and retail outlets in 2017. Edible products would not be allowed.
Personal cultivation and use would allow residents to grow marijuana in plots of up to 100 square feet. Marijuana possession would be limited to 1 ounce. Anything harvested over that amount would be required to be in a secured location. The private sale of marijuana between two parties would not be allowed, and marijuana could not be exchanged for anything of value except at a state-permitted retail establishment.
There are still details that legislators say will be dealt with in committee next session. If you are a Vermont resident, please urge your lawmakers to support making marijuana legal and visit the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.
Vermont’s medical marijuana program has come a long way since the law was first approved by the Legislature back in 2004. In 2011, MPP worked with Vermont legislators and our allies to secure approval for four state-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries. As a result of that law, which was signed by Governor Peter Shumlin, the fourth dispensary began serving patients in southern Vermont last Tuesday.
This is great progress, but we can’t stop here. The addition of four dispensaries has dramatically improved access for patients, and over 1,000 patients have now registered for Vermont’s program. But there are still a number of issues with Vermont’s medical marijuana law that need to be addressed, including an absurd restriction that only 1,000 Vermont patients may be served by dispensaries.
We are currently urging Vermont legislators to pass S. 247, which would eliminate the 1,000-patient cap and make other positive changes to Vermont’s medical marijuana law. Sponsored by Senator Jeanette White (D), S. 247 would authorize the Department of Public Safety to license two additional dispensaries. It would also allow dispensaries to deliver marijuana to patients, and it would allow naturopaths to certify patients for the program.
S. 247 has already been approved by two Senate committees, and a vote is expected soon by the full Senate.
If you are a Vermont resident, please email your senator and ask them to support his sensible bill.