Vermont has a history of being the first state at the forefront of social change. After all, Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery and to legalize gay marriage. So, it’s not that big of a surprise that once again Vermont finds itself a first.
This time Vermont is the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative vote instead of a ballot initiative. The people didn’t even have to speak, their government leaders knew what they wanted and gave it to them.
But how liberal are Vermont’s marijuana laws really? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about pot in Vermont and how to smoke in peace.
While Vermont may be the first state to legalize marijuana with a legislative vote, it isn’t the most progressive with its laws. While residents and visitors may be excited to learn that it is no longer a crime to possess marijuana. There are some restrictions to be aware that could come as a surprise.
Under the new recreational laws, a person in the state of Vermont is allowed to possess no more than one ounce of marijuana or more than five grams of hashish. An individual person is also allowed to cultivate no more than two mature plants and four immature plants.
While the first offense for violating this only comes with imprisonment up to 6 months and a fine of no more than $500.00, the punishments increase from there. If caught with more than 10 pounds but less than 50 pounds a person can face up to 15 years in jail, a fine up to $500,000.00, or both.
It is also illegal to smoke marijuana in any public place in Vermont to include sidewalks, streets, and parks.
Selling and Purchasing
Currently, it is illegal to sell or dispense marijuana in Vermont for non-medical purposes are illegal. The punishments range from two years in jail and a $10,000.00 fine to 30 years in jail and a $1,000,000.00 fine for possessing more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to sell or distribute.
Residents of Vermont can legally smoke marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes. However, what does all of this mean for medical marijuana users?
Medical marijuana laws are remaining largely untouched except to account for the new recreational laws. But, it’s still a good idea to refresh your memory if it’s been awhile or learn if you didn’t know anything about them until now.
Either way before walking into a Vermont dispensary it’s a good idea to know the laws and regulations they have to follow.
Possession limits under medical marijuana laws are different than recreational laws and definitions. For one, recreational laws concern the individual acts in possession. However, medical marijuana possession laws involve both the patient and the patient’s registered caregiver.
The possession limit is the amount of marijuana possessed by both the patient and the doctor. Collectively the two cannot possess more than two mature plants, seven immature plants, and two ounces of useable marijuana. It is also worth noting that useable marijuana in Vermont excludes seeds, stems, stalks, and roots.
If you are thinking of opening a dispensary, you’ll first need to register with the State. A registered Vermont dispensary is allowed to sell, cultivate, manufacture, process, possess and acquire marijuana to provide or sell to registered patients.
If you’re looking for a dispensary in Vermont to purchase from, you’ll first need to designate a dispensary as your primary dispensary. Patients are allowed up to two dispensaries.
Dispensaries are only allowed to sell or distribute marijuana to their registered patients and their registered caregivers.
The state may have made history by being the first state to legalize marijuana with a legislature vote instead of a ballot initiative. But good luck obtaining marijuana for non-medical reasons.
Those who use cannabis for symptom relief will not notice any change other than potentially a more critical eye at the dispensaries to ensure there is no abuse of the system.
The legalization of marijuana as it is now in Vermont may not be exactly what was wanted, but it is a compromise. And one that opens the doors for future more lax laws and regulations.