Is Marijuana Legal in Vermont?

is weed legal in vermont
Photo: Unsplash

Before Vermont, other legal states had all legalized the use of marijuana via a statewide ballot initiative. However, Vermont legalized the adult use of marijuana via the state legislature in 2018, making it the first state in the U.S. to do so. Despite the legalization of Medical and Adult-use marijuana, Vermont could not sell recreational marijuana statewide until 2020.

In 2020 Vermont legalized the operational sale of marijuana for recreational use and set up laws to guide the new marijuana industry. The following explores all you need to know about the legalization of marijuana in Vermont and relevant laws in the state.

Is weed legal in Vermont?

Yes, adult use of marijuana for recreational purposes is legal in Vermont. However, the recreational sale of marijuana was only recently legalized in 2020 when Gov. Phil Scott allowed the law to be passed without his signature. Despite the legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana, adults over 21 will not be allowed to purchase marijuana until recreational cannabis retail outlets open in 2022.

When will weed be legal in Vermont?

Vermont began considering the legalization of marijuana as early as 2014. The process had to go through the state legislature and be either approved by the governor or veto-proof. However, after the state legislature passed S 76 Act in 2018, the medical and recreational use of weed became legal in Vermont, although the retail sales will begin May 1, 2022.

Are edibles legal in Vermont?

Yes, edibles fall under recreational use and are 100% legal. However, purchases will only commence when recreational cannabis retail outlets open in 2022.

Is medical marijuana legal in Vermont?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Vermont.

How to get medical marijuana in Vermont

In Vermont, patients and caregivers registered with medical marijuana cards can purchase cannabis from one of the dispensaries proposed by the VMR. Medical marijuana sales are tax-exempt, and THC limits imposed on recreational marijuana do not apply.

As part of regulations, patients can only buy medical marijuana from their designated dispensary. This need for designating dispensaries limits patients to make purchases from a single dispensary per time. Patients can change their designated dispensary every 30 days for a $25 fee.

Can I go to a dispensary without a card in Vermont?

No. In Vermont, state-sanctioned dispensaries will only sell medical marijuana to residents with VMR ID cards. However, adults over 21 will buy marijuana without cards once recreational cannabis retail outlets open in 2022.

How long does it take to get your medical card in Vermont?

It typically takes 30 days to get a medical card in Vermont. If approved, the medical marijuana card in Vermont will be valid for one year.

Does Vermont accept out-of-state MMJ cards?

No. Dispensaries in Vermont are only allowed to sell marijuana to registered resident-patients who have set a designated dispensary.

Marijuana bills/laws in Vermont & key questions

Vermont first considered the legalization of medicinal marijuana statewide in 2004 after the state legislature passed S 76, a pro-marijuana Act. S 76 essentially removed the legal possession and cultivation penalties for critically ill patients. Enacting the additional legislation eliminated the fines associated with possessing small amounts of marijuana for adults 21and older. This law also led to the establishment of the Vermont Marijuana Registry. Gov. Phil Scott, in January 2018, signed additional bills to support the legalization of marijuana in Vermont. 

Also, In 2020, Vermont legalized the recreational sales of marijuana after Gov. Phil Scott passed S. 54. This bill (S. 54) stipulated that all localities must have adult-use retail establishments that produce marijuana. This law was ultimately passed without Gov. Phil Scott’s signature. The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and an Advisory Board were established to regulate the cultivation and use of marijuana statewide.

How much marijuana can I have in Vermont? (in oz)

In Vermont, Adults 21 and older who are not qualifying patients can possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana. Medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can also collectively possess up to two ounces of cannabis.

Is Marijuana decriminalized in Vermont?

Yes, marijuana is decriminalized for first-time offenders in the state. There is no prison time or criminal record for the first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. However, prison time and fines will apply for possession of a large amount of marijuana.

Is there a fine or penalty for marijuana possession in Vermont?

Yes, in Vermont, the penalties that apply if an individual possesses more than the permissible marijuana limit vary. For instance, the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by a person 21 years or older is not an offense since that’s the general legal threshold. However, possession of cannabis between one to two ounces is an offense punishable by up to a $2,000 fine which mainly applies to subsequent offenses. 

How many cannabis plants per household in Vermont?

As of July 1, 2018, adults are allowed to cultivate up to six marijuana plants, including a limit of two mature plants and up to four immature plants. Those who grow marijuana for their personal use may possess the total quantity of their harvest at home.

Vermont dispensaries regulations

The Department of Public Safety’s Vermont Marijuana Registry (VMR) is responsible for licensing dispensaries and issuing medical cannabis cards to patients who want to purchase marijuana statewide.

Vermont growers regulations

The Department of Public Safety is also responsible for licensing cannabis growers in the state.

Closing thoughts

Vermont is without any doubts a pro-marijuana state. However, there are many aspects of its industry that the state can improve. For instance, the decriminalization limits could be upped. The state could also benefit from offering reciprocity for out-of-state visitors. Still, Vermont appears to be on the right track in the evolution of its marijuana landscape.

We are NOT legal advisers. Information contained in this website is intended as general introductory information only. The information contained on this website is not legal advice, should not be construed as legal advice nor relied upon as such.