Vermont’s House has passed a measure that doubles the number of medical cannabis dispensaries allowed in the state and expands the qualifying condition list. The measure passed the Senate in February and will next move to the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Scott.
The bill (SB.16) adds post-traumatic stress disorder, Chron’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease to the list of conditions approved for medical cannabis therapies, and increases the number of dispensaries allowed to operate in the state t to eight. The measure also increases the amount of cannabis allowed to be possessed by a registered patient from two to three.
The legislation also eliminates some of the red tape that might prevent some patients from accessing the program. It removes language that requires a patient’s initial application be notarized and requirements that a physician provide a statement that other medical efforts had been made “over a reasonable amount of time without success to relieve symptoms.” Additionally, the bill adds language to protect recommending physicians, requiring their recommendation to include a statement that they are not prescribing cannabis, but rather confirming that the patient has the qualifying, debilitating, condition.
If the bill is signed by the governor, the Department of Public Safety will begin accepting applications for the additional four dispensaries on July, 1.