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Monday, July 23, 2018

Vermont AG: It's Illegal for Businesses to 'Gift' Marijuana

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 11:36 AM

  • Luke Eastman
Updated at 12:35 p.m.

This gift won't legally keep giving.

Selling an item or offering a service that comes with some "free" cannabis is illegal under Vermont's new recreational marijuana law, Attorney General T.J. Donovan declared in an advisory Monday.

The interpretation of the law, which went into effect July 1 and is known as Act 86, comes after several businesses cropped up offering cannabis, edibles and vape cartridges in exchange for a delivery fee. Some entrepreneurs were also selling an overpriced item such as a sticker, T-shirt or bracelet and would throw in a "gift" of marijuana on the side. That kind of transaction is considered a marijuana sale, according to Donovan.

"Any transfer of marijuana for money, barter, or other legal consideration remains illegal under Vermont law," Donovan wrote in the advisory. He added: "Individuals may gift pursuant to the parameters set forth in the law."

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Burlington City Council Waters Down Safe Injection Site Measure

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 9:31 AM

  • Sean Metcalf
Updated at 9:50 a.m.

The Burlington City Council decided to move forward with a resolution promoting opiate treatment, but inserted key language saying that safe injection sites won’t happen anytime soon.

The council voted 9-3 to endorse buprenorphine treatment and appoint two councilors to the CommunityStat opiate study committee but will not take concrete steps toward establishing a safe injection facility "until the city council affirmatively votes to do so" in a separate vote.

It took two hours of debate and nine proposed amendments Monday night before the council issued its "yes" vote to the altered measure.

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Burlington City Council to Weigh In on Safe Injection Sites

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM

  • Sean Metcalf
The Burlington City Council on Monday will begin discussing the possibility of establishing a safe injection site in the city.

A "yes" vote on a resolution before the council would endorse a menu of opiate treatment options for the Queen City, including distribution of buprenorphine in emergency rooms, supporting opiate treatment for inmates across the state, and offering low-cost or free Narcan to reverse overdoses.

The most controversial item would be a safe injection site, which the resolution refers to as an overdose prevention site. It would provide a place for addicts to consume drugs and would also provide access to medical service, treatment options and clean needles — without legal repercussion.

The resolution does not create a safe injection site. It only encourages the city to move forward with discussions about such a facility. Creating one would involve a lengthy process, "possibly years," before it came to fruition, the resolution acknowledges, and would require a "full community vetting."

The council doesn't actually have authority to enact some of the proposed policies around buprenorphine and Narcan. Still, the resolution is a step in the right direction, said Councilor Karen Paul (D-Ward 6), who's been working on the measure since March.

"The council being on the record supporting and endorsing an overdose prevention site is meaningful," Paul said.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

First Satellite Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens in South Burlington

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 3:25 PM

Products at the dispensary - SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
  • Products at the dispensary
Vermont’s newest medical marijuana dispensary is in a nondescript office park in South Burlington.

Champlain Valley Dispensary opened its newest shop and office space in late June on Green Tree Drive, around the corner from the South Burlington police station. A bill last year allowed each of Vermont’s five medical marijuana dispensary licensees to open a satellite location. Champlain Valley, which opened its flagship downtown Burlington dispensary in 2013, is the first in the state to take advantage of the law.

Location Details Champlain Valley Dispensary (South Burlington)
2 Green Tree Dr.
Chittenden County
South Burlington, VT
Dispensary (MMJ) and CBD Seller
Bridget Conry, Champlain Valley’s director of sales and product development, said the company runs a grow operation in South Burlington and had a good relationship with city officials as it prepared to expand.

“When we had the opportunity, we took it,” said Conry. “It’s not downtown; it’s easier to get to for some patients; it’s quieter; there’s more space and there’s plenty of parking.”

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Despite Extreme Heat, Vermonters Find Their Chill at Cannabis Legalization Party

Posted By on Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 6:50 PM

The celebration is on - SARA TABIN
  • Sara Tabin
  • The celebration is on
At 11:05 a.m. on Sunday, seven people were sweating on Flynn Avenue in Burlington, waiting for a shuttle to take them to the Heady Vermont Legalization Celebration in Johnson.

They joked among one another that they shouldn’t have expected a bus for a pot party to, well, be on time. One man offered the others hits on his doobie, and they smoked in a circle, debating whether the parking lot would count as a public place under Vermont’s new cannabis law.

Sunday, July 1 marked the first day cannabis was legalized in Vermont — though some aspects of the law remain open to interpretation. Approximately 1,000 celebrants gathered at the Heady fest at Willow Crossing Farm, while others in southern Vermont attended the Original Green Mountain Cannabis and Music Festival in West Dover.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Vermont State Police Talk Changes in Enforcement With New Weed Law

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 5:50 PM

Lt. John Flannigan - SARA TABIN
  • Sara Tabin
  • Lt. John Flannigan
Recreational cannabis will be legalized July 1 in Vermont, but driving under the influence of drugs remains dangerous and illegal, Vermont State Police warned Tuesday during a wide-ranging discussion with the media about law enforcement changes surrounding the new law.

Cannabis-sniffing canines will be given new assignments and the agency has considered purchasing scales for patrol cars so troopers can weigh motorists' weed, according to Capt. James Whitcomb. Possession of more than one ounce of cannabis is illegal, according to Act 86, Vermont's new recreational marijuana law.

Tuesday's talk at state police headquarters in Waterbury came less than two weeks before weed legalization takes effect. And though the date is coming ever closer, Whitcomb said state police won't be more lenient in the intervening 11 days.

"There has been no easing of enforcement," Whitcomb said. "July 1 is a hard date."

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Vermont AG Issues Weed Law Guidance for the Workplace

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 7:24 PM

  • Luke Eastman
Under certain circumstances, Vermont employers will still be allowed to drug test their workers for marijuana once recreational weed is legalized on July 1, according to guidance released on Thursday by Attorney General T.J. Donovan.

The pot law, known as Act 86, “did not change Vermont’s existing laws strictly regulating when and how employers may drug test,” the guidance reads.

The 17-page document spells out the rights of employers and employees once weed is legalized. The general takeaway? Not much has changed. Donovan’s office said in a press release that it created the guide in response to queries from the business community.

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Weed-Laced Chocolates Sicken Inn at Shelburne Farms Employees

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 12:26 PM

The Inn at Shelburne Farms - FILE: STEPHEN MEASE
  • File: Stephen Mease
  • The Inn at Shelburne Farms
Two Inn at Shelburne Farms employees were taken to the hospital Wednesday after they ate chocolate marijuana edibles left behind by two guests, police said.

Shelburne police and rescue responded to the high-end inn around 10:20 a.m. after someone reported that an ill employee “was lying in the parking lot.” The unidentified employees were taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center for evaluation, Shelburne police said in a press release.

Cops said the edibles looked like Whoppers malted milk balls.

“If a person does possess marijuana edibles,” police warned, “please make sure the edibles are kept secure and out of reach of children and unwilling participants.”

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dozens Show Up to Wipe Out Chittenden County Cannabis Convictions

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 8:37 PM

Two attendees receive assistance filling out their petitions. - SARA TABIN
  • Sara Tabin
  • Two attendees receive assistance filling out their petitions.
Patrick Jackson wants to be a pharmacy technician. Instead, the 28-year-old is working as a cook to pay his bills, a life choice he says he made, in part, because his two marijuana convictions — one in 2012 and one in 2013 — have been holding him back from finding a job he really likes.

Jackson took his chance to set his record straight on Tuesday, when Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George held an Expungement Day at the Edward J. Costello Courthouse on Cherry Street. Lawyers at the event walked attendees through the process of filing a petition to get misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions wiped off their records.

"I appreciated all the help they are giving me to get this off, so I can have a fully clean record, back to where I started when I was born," Jackson grinned as he spoke with Seven Days.

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Scenes From the First Vermont Cannabis Convention

Posted By on Sat, May 12, 2018 at 10:07 PM

Enthusiasm was high.
  • Enthusiasm was high.
So abundant were the CBD-infused treats Saturday at the Vermont Cannabis & Hemp Convention that even the dogs were getting in on the action.

Well, one anyway: Maple, a Spinone Italiano, sat quietly with her owner, Rachael Henne, at the table for RopaNa LLC, a CBD company from White River Junction. When Henne retrieved a vial of CBD, which is heralded for its supposed anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, Maple licked voraciously from the dropper.

The pooch has anxiety, said Henne, and needed the stuff to cope with the buzzing crowd inside the DoubleTree by Hilton in South Burlington. A vet recommended Maple take Xanax, but Henne said she knew the healing power of CBD — and it's worked.

"Every time we take the bottle out, even for ourselves, she gets really excited and runs over," said Henne, whose company name means "heal oneself" in Sanskrit. And, at least to this observer, Maple was certainly chill.

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