Is Recreational Weed Legal in Vermont?

August 17, 2021
Recreational Weed, Legal, State, Vermont
Recreational Weed, Legal, State, Vermont

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in the State of Vermont?

Recreational marijuana is legal in the state of Vermont for adults 21 or older, as of 2020, although since the law is so new, you cannot yet find a dispensary in parts like Montpelier or Stow selling cannabis to non-medical patients.  Two years before weed became legalized, possession of small amounts had been decriminalized. 

 

History of Weed Laws

Medical marijuana has been legal in The Green Mountain State since 2004, when lawmakers passed S 76, an Act Relating to the Medical Use of Marijuana.  Although the act did not have the governor’s approval, it passed successfully, effectively establishing the Vermont Marijuana Registry for patients with certain qualifying conditions, and removed penalties for possession, cultivation, and consumption among eligible patients.  Since then, the list of qualifying conditions has been expanded to make marijuana accessible to more individuals with health ailments.

 

Governor Scott signed H. 511 in January of 2018, which decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older.  This became Act 86, which determined that adults could possess up to an ounce of marijuana, along with two mature plants and four immature plants per adult.

 

Vermont S. 54 was passed in 2019 without the governor’s signature, which led to the legalization of adult-use marijuana in 2020, thus allowing for the recreational sales of marijuana.  The Cannabis Control Board was established to oversee market regulation, and the law stated that all regions of the state had to permit retail establishments and had to prioritize smaller cultivation and business operations as well as those operated by women and people of color.

 

Presently, state legislature is attempting to move regulation of the medical marijuana program from the responsibility of the Department of Public Safety’s Vermont Marijuana Registry to the Cannabis Control Board.

 

Where Can a Person Legally Purchase Weed in Vermont?

Dispensaries selling to recreational users should open in 2022.  At that time, all adults who are 21 or older will be able to visit a state-licensed dispensary and purchase a variety of cannabis products.  They will not be able to purchase flower containing more than 30% THC, or concentrates containing more than 60% THC.  Further, edibles will only be permitted to contain a maximum of 5 milligrams per serving.  The only kind of oil that will be sold will be in the form of unflavored vape cartridges.

 

In Vermont, medical patients can purchase cannabis from any state-licensed dispensary.  Sales are exempt from tax in this instance, and there are no THC limits as there are with recreational sales.  Patients are designated a dispensary, and they can only purchase from this location.  Every 30 days, for a $25 fee, patients can select a different dispensary, and can only use one at a time.  Caregivers are authorized to purchase marijuana on a patient’s behalf if approved by a state, and home delivery is available for medical patients.

 

Where Can Cannabis Legally Be Used?

It is illegal for a person to consume cannabis in public, or on private property that is within public view.  The first offense for being caught consuming cannabis in public is a $100 fine.  Driving while under the influence of marijuana comes with severe legal consequences as it falls under the state’s DUI laws.  It can lead to two years in prison and a $750 fine for the first offense.  A driver can face these charges even if a passenger is smoking or vaping cannabis in the vehicle.

 

Possession Laws

An adult who is not a medical marijuana patient may possess up to an ounce of cannabis flower or 5 grams of hashish, and cannabis that they harvest themselves does not count as part of this possession amount.  A medical patient may possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis.  Cannabis can only be transported if it’s in a locked container and out of public view.

 

Can Residents Grow Their Own?

Vermont allows residents to grow their own cannabis.  Adult recreational users may grow 2 mature plants and 4 immature plants.  Medical patients may grow 2 mature plants and 7 immature plants.

 

Medical Marijuana

Patients can apply for medical marijuana through an application provided by the Vermont Marijuana Registry’s website.  If approved, they will receive a medical marijuana card that is valid at state-licensed dispensaries.

 

Qualifying Conditions:

  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy, or other seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe nausea

 

Patient Qualifications:

For a patient to qualify for medical marijuana, they must have a written certification from a doctor that contains a diagnosis of one of the above conditions.  Patients under 18 may be able to qualify.

 

How to Register for Medical Marijuana in Vermont

To register, a patient must visit the VMR website to fill out an application and include their doctor’s certification, along with a color photo, state-issued ID card and designated dispensary of choice.  A $50 fee is required upon registry.

 

Qualifying as a Caregiver

A caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and must submit to a background check.  They must be able to prove their residency in this state.

 

Registering as a Caregiver

Registering as a caregiver in Vermont requires that they fill out the caregiver portion of the patient’s application and provide their ID, approval of a background check performed by the state and a $50 fee. 

 

Reciprocity Laws

As of now, those traveling from out of state cannot legally purchase cannabis products in VT, regardless of whether they are a medical patient or a recreational user.

 

Licensing Laws

Cannabis products are subjected to third-party testing, although the state has yet to come up with specific criteria for testing.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

#1: How Long Has Weed Been Legal in Vermont?

Only since 2020 has cannabis been legal for recreational adult use in Vermont.  The state’s legalization is so recent that it has yet to set up dispensaries for adult use, which means that at the moment, residents who do not have a medical card have no legal way of purchasing marijuana.

 

#2: Can I Grow My Own Marijuana?

Both recreational and medical marijuana users are permitted to grow a specific number of cannabis plants on their property, and can consume those plants as desired, but are not permitted to sell their harvests to other individuals of any age.

 

#3: Can I Have Weed Delivered to My Home?

Right now, only medical patients can have weed delivered to their home from a licensed dispensary.  The state does not yet permit dispensaries to deliver cannabis to the homes of recreational users.

 

#4: Can I Buy Flavored Cannabis Vapes?

Vermont is strict when it comes to vaping and oils, and only permits unflavored vaping cartridges to be sold in the state. 

 

#5: Can I Buy Flower in Vermont?

Flower is legal in Vermont, but it must be tested by an independent laboratory to show that it has a maximum of 30% THC.

 

#6: Can I Use Cannabis in Public?

VT does not permit the use of cannabis in public spaces, and only allows for it to be used on private property and away from public view.