If no action is taken by Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott before Wednesday, the state will become the first to legalize cannabis through the legislative process, and not a ballot initiative.
The legislation has already been approved by both chambers of the state legislature and the governor has only a few more days to decide whether to sign or to veto it.
Although Governor Scott has not been an advocate for the cannabis industry because he is still not sure it is healthy, Scott has certainly become more favorable on cannabis. Earlier this month, after both houses approved the legislation, Governor Scott’s spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley released the following statement:
On the issue of legalizing marijuana, the Governor has said he is not philosophically opposed, but we must ensure certain public safety and health questions are answered.
Legislation to Significantly Expand the State’s Cannabis Market
Vermont currently has a small medical cannabis program and only has four medical cannabis dispensary licenses (less than 4,000 registered patients). Current law allows patients to only do one or the other, not both. The legislation also lets dispensaries operate as a for-profit entity (currently required to operate as a non-profit).
If the legislation is approved, starting in July 2018, it would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of weed, two mature plants and four immature plants.
The legislation would also create a study commission to look at other state models from a taxation and regulation standpoint. This study will be used to make recommendations for Vermont’s adult use market.
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Source: 420 Intel – United States