Vermont Cannabis FAQ: Answers to Your Burning Questions | Seven Days

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Vermont Cannabis FAQ: Answers to Your Burning Questions 

Published September 1, 2017 at 4:00 a.m. | Updated November 7, 2017 at 6:43 p.m.

click to enlarge DON EGGERT
  • Don Eggert

So is weed legal in Vermont?

Yes. As of July 1, 2018, adults 21 and older can grow up to six cannabis plants (two mature and four immature) and possess up to an ounce of flower.

Two years later, Gov. Phil Scott allowed a tax-and-regulate bill go into law without his signature; sales began in October 2022. As of January 2023, the state's Cannabis Control Board had licensed more than three-dozen weed shops around the state. Click here to find them.

Is medical cannabis legal in Vermont?

Yes. Medical cannabis has been legal here since 2004. Patients can grow their own in a "single, secure indoor facility" or have a registered caregiver cultivate it for them. The state is served by six dispensaries: in South Burlington, Montpelier, Middlebury, Bennington, Brandon and Brattleboro. Each is registered with the state and, according to state legislation, "may acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, transfer, transport, supply, sell and dispense marijuana, marijuana-infused products and marijuana-related supplies" to registered patients and their caregivers.

Only patients with debilitating medical conditions can get on the registry. Specifically, the State of Vermont defines those conditions as: "cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease — or the treatment of these conditions, if the disease or the treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms."

It also recognizes: "post-traumatic stress disorder, provided the applicant is undergoing psychotherapy or counseling with a licensed mental health care provider; or a disease or medical condition or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating, and produces one or more of the following intractable symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome, chronic pain, severe nausea, or seizures."

Is hemp legal in Vermont? What about CBD?

Yes. Both are legal in Vermont. The amount of hemp grown in Vermont peaked a few years ago. Some grow industrial hemp, while the majority is grown for cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound found in cannabis. CBD is then infused in foods, supplements and ointments, among other products.

Unlike its close cousin, marijuana, hemp is high in CBD but contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive chemical compound that gets users high. And, unlike marijuana, it's been legal to grow hemp under state law since 2013. While cultivation remains illegal under federal law, authorities haven't targeted local growers.

How is decriminalization different from legalization?

Vermont decriminalized cannabis in 2013. That means getting caught with an ounce or less of weed brings a civil charge, not a criminal one. A first offense is a $200 fine, a second offense, $300; every one after that costs $500.

Possession of anything more than an ounce is subject to criminal prosecution, as is cultivation of too many cannabis plants.

If I'm a medical cannabis patient in another state, can I use my card to pick up weed while I'm in Vermont?

No. The same goes for holders of a Vermont medical marijuana card, which entitles them to use, possess and buy cannabis only in the Green Mountain State.

Got a question about cannabis in Vermont that we didn't answer? Send it to [email protected].
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About The Author

Sasha Goldstein

Sasha Goldstein

Sasha Goldstein is Seven Days' deputy news editor.


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