Vermont's lawmakers approved an adult-use cannabis legalization bill in January. The bill took effect today, July 1, 2018.
It's truly a historic day not just in Vermont, but for the country as a whole. Vermont may be the 9th state to legalize cannabis, but it is the first to do so via legislative action.
Now responsible adult cannabis consumers in Vermont can consume and possess cannabis in peace.
They no longer have to live in fear of being penalized for consuming a plant that is safer than many household products.
The Green Flower team wants to congratulate everyone involved with making legalization in Vermont happen!
What is legal and what is not legal now in Vermont?
Adults over 21 years old in Vermont can now:
- Possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower or up to five grams of hash
- Cultivate up to two mature cannabis plants and up to 4 immature plants
What Vermont's law does not allow:
- Selling cannabis
- Transporting cannabis out of Vermont
- Driving under the influence of cannabis
- Consuming cannabis in public
When will adult-use cannabis be legally available for purchase in Vermont?
Right now Vermont does not allow for a legal adult-use cannabis industry. The bill that was passed by Vermont lawmakers was just for possession and cultivation.
Hopefully, lawmakers step up in the next legislative session and pass a reasonable bill that allows for the creation of a regulated adult-use system.
If you live in Vermont make sure to contact your lawmakers and urge them to pass a bill to allow sales.
Point out that legalized sales are already successfully underway in a number of states. A legal cannabis industry generates jobs, tax revenue, and provides an economic boost to local economies.
A legalized cannabis industry can't fix all of a state's financial problems, but it can definitely help a number of causes in a significant way.
Why legalization in Vermont is extra significant
Prior to Vermont legalizing cannabis, every other state had legalized cannabis via citizen initiative versus via the legislative process.
A citizen initiative involves the collection of voter signatures and if enough valid signatures are collected a legalization initiative is placed before voters.
Not every state has an initiative process. In those states, the only way to legalize cannabis is via lawmakers passing a bill and the Governor approving it.
With Vermont passing legalization the way that it did, it could usher in a new era of cannabis reform, one in which elected officials end cannabis prohibition rather than putting the burden on citizens.
Initiative campaigns are expensive and nothing is ever guaranteed. If a legislature chose to, it could legalize cannabis very quickly.
It's quite possible that the next legislative cycle sees one or more states follow Vermont's lead which would further build the momentum for the end to cannabis prohibition nationwide.
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