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Vermont Eases Marijuana Regulations

  • Jun 12, 2014 | Gail Cole

 Vermont loosens restrictions on medical marijuana, considers fiscal implications of recreational marijuana.

A new law in Vermont loosens the regulations on medical marijuana and explores legalization of recreational marijuana.

Among other changes, under SB 247:

  • Patients diagnosed with a terminal illness, cancer with distant metastases or acquired immune deficiency syndrome will no longer have to wait six months before being eligible to purchase medical marijuana;
  • Applicants who been convicted of a drug-related crime will not be rejected solely on the basis of that history; and
  • Dispensaries may acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, transfer, transport, supply, sell and dispense hemp and hemp-infused products for symptom relief.

In addition, the new law makes it easier for registered patients under the age of 18 who suffer from seizures to acquire medical marijuana, and it removes the cap on the number of registered patients permitted at any one time (currently set at 1,000).

Looking forward

The state has asked for reports on the following topics, due on or before January 15, 2015:

  • The use of marijuana in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • The “possible taxing systems for the sale of marijuana in Vermont, including sales and use taxes and excise taxes, and the potential revenue each may raise;
  • Any savings or costs to the State that would result from regulating marijuana: and
  • The experiences of other states with regulating and taxing marijuana.”

Governor Peter Shumlin (D) is keeping a close eye on Colorado and Washington, pioneers in the field. He said he is “happy to continue to let other governors lead” but is “open to the conversation.” And as in Washington and Colorado, the fiscal implications of legalization look to be front and center of the discussion.

Others, such as the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police, would prefer that conversation not take place (VT Digger).

Want to know more about taxing new products like marijuana? Watch the video.

photo credit: Wiros via photopin cc

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.