Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana market and becomes the 11th states to do so.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, announced he allowed legislation to regulate and tax cannabis earnings to become law without his signature, according to a press release yesterday from the governor’s office.
The news, which sets the stage for yet more expansion of the U.S. cannabis sector, was hailed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) as a significant victory, particularly considering that Vermont is just the second state in the country to legalize adult use via the legislature rather than in the ballot box. Recreational earnings in Vermont aren’t expected to start until October 2022.
Though Vermont legalized the possession and use of recreational marijuana in 2018, lawmakers at the time declined to authorize any framework for the legal production and sale of recreational marijuana.
Steven Hawins, MPP Executive Director said in a recent press release, “The importance of Vermont’s decision to legalize and regulate cannabis sales, particularly in a state with a Republican governor and throughout the legislative process, can’t be overstated.”
“This is an historic move that increases the momentum of our motion and underlines its depth and breadth, and importantly, it comes as other state legislatures are positioned to seriously consider legalization in the future.”
Although Governor Scott declined to sign into law a bill that establishes a formal framework around the sale and production of recreational marijuana, he still allowed Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana market without a veto.
Scott said he declined to sign the bill because it did not address several concerns he has, for example:
- An”inequitable playing field,” he said”will benefit Vermont’s present (MMJ) dispensaries.” (Protesters gathered last weekend at the capitol to draw attention to the absence of a social equity program.)
- The allowance of marijuana vaping products when he is not satisfied that vaping doesn’t pose a danger to public health.
- Adding stricter advertising restrictions to guarantee marijuana is not made appealing to minors.
- An”aggressive” timeline for the appointment of marijuana management board members by Jan. 8, 2021.
- Increasing law enforcement funding and training to manage a possible uptick in impaired drivers.
Now that Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana market and with the Vermont decriminalization bill approved, the legalization movement will continue to grow momentum around the nation.