Marijuana

Hemp plants at Green Mountain CBD's farm in Hardwick, taken earlier this year.
Jon Kalish / For VPR

Growing hemp became legal in Vermont in 2013 and today more than 90 people are registered to grow it here. Vermont Edition looks at the differences between hemp, CBD (Cannabidiol) and marijuana, and where these industries and products are in Vermont today.

State Marijuana Commission To Issue Report To Governor In 2018

Gov. Scott's Marijuana Commission is trying to decide what legalization should look like in Vermont.
Labuda / iStock

Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Scott created a special commission to study the possibility of approving recreational marijuana use in Vermont. The commission began meeting in late September.

Kyle Gruter-Curham grows 6 acres of hemp in Irasburg. He says if lawmakers allowed it, he could add marijuana to his crops as early as next spring.
Emily Corwin / VPR

Vermont's handful of medical marijuana dispensaries have exclusive permission to grow and sell marijuana in the state.  If and when lawmakers legalize non-medical weed, they will likely have a head start on a very profitable industry.

An empty marijuana jar at the Canna Care Docs clinic in Burlington. The company opened its first location in Vermont last month, and offers patients a new avenue to medical marijuana.
Emily Corwin / VPR

Two weeks ago, a new health clinic opened its doors in Burlington to do in Vermont what it has already done in several other states: bring thousands of new patients into the state’s medical cannabis program.

Members of the Marijuana Advisory Commission met for the first time Thursday in Waterbury. Administration officials say it's now a matter of how, not if, Vermont legalizes marijuana.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Top officials in the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott say marijuana legalization is now inevitable in Vermont, and that they’ve been instructed to craft the framework for what will one day become an above-board cannabis market in the state.

The co-founders of the Phytoscience Institute, Willy Cats-Baril, Dr. Kalev Freeman, Monique McHenry, Tom Grace and Robin Grace, from left, say they started the firm to improve medical cannabis research. The institute won a license to open a dispensary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The Phytoscience Institute in Waterbury won a license last week to become the state's fifth medical marijuana dispensary.  Competition for the new dispensary license was fierce, with five applicants vying for the coveted registration certificate. But the CEO of the winning cannabis research firm says he doesn't expect to profit from the dispensaries themselves.

Governor Phil Scott has created a special marijuana advisory commission.
Jim Mone / Associated Press/File

Governor Phil Scott created a special marijuana advisory commission to review a number of key issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana in Vermont. Neal Goswami, bureau chief at the Vermont Press Bureau, told Vermont Edition how the commission's report, to be issued in December of next year, could affect the legalization debate.

A new advisory commission created by Gov. Phil Scott this week will focus on the issue of marijuana legalization in Vermont.
labuda / iStock

Gov. Phil Scott has signed an executive order that creates a special marijuana advisory commission to focus on legalization issues.

In 2014, Gregory Zullo was pulled over for having part of his license plate covered. The state trooper said he smelled marijuana in the car and towed the car. The Vermont ACLU sued the state and is appealing the case to the Vermont Supreme Court.
ACLU-VT

A case regarding the traffic stop of a black motorist and a subsequent vehicle search based on the smell of marijuana is heading to the Vermont Supreme Court.

Gov. Phil Scott says he wants to be sure road safety concerns are dealt with before approving a legal recreational marijuana market in Vermont.
La_Corivo / iStock.com

Gov. Phil Scott says he’s about to convene a “blue ribbon commission” to study issues related to the legalization of marijuana.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is backing efforts to release long held documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy is leading an effort in the U.S. Senate to prevent the Trump Administration from cracking down on states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

Lisa Rathke / Associated Press

Gov. Phil Scott and lawmakers finally compromised on the state budget last week, but the outcome creates a whole new set of financial dilemmas for school districts across Vermont. And the governor's veto of pot legalization disappointed supporters who thought it had a chance. We examine both controversies in a live interview with the governor.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Lawmakers could have overridden two vetoes when they returned to Montpelier on Wednesday. The governor's veto of a pot legalization bill stands, but legislators did strike a deal to approve the state budget. However, their compromise with Gov. Phil Scott puts school boards on the hook to find cost savings.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he didn't encourage lawmakers to support the marijuana legalization bill during this week's veto session because passage of the legislation was not a high priority for him.

Many House Republicans and some Democrats voted to block consideration of a new marijuana bill.
Ted S. Warren / AP

Backers of a new marijuana legalization bill say they’re very disappointed that many members of the House Republican caucus and a number of Democrats voted to block consideration of the legislation in Wednesday’s veto session.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Disagreement over health care contracts for employees at public schools prompted next week's veto session, but it's not clear if the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers will be able to bridge the divide between them on this issue.

A new advisory commission created by Gov. Phil Scott this week will focus on the issue of marijuana legalization in Vermont.
labuda / iStock

In May, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would legalize marijuana due to several public safety concerns. Now, lawmakers think they have a compromise that would win the governor's approval. 

Gov Scott vetoed legislation that would have legalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in May. We're talking about whether compromise on a new bill can be reached for the June veto session.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the Legislature's marijuana legalization bill, but said he was open to a new bill that addressed his public safety concerns. We're talking about the negotiations going on to reach a compromise, and whether a legalization bill could win approval in the upcoming veto session.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he's pleased by the progress that's being made to draft a compromise marijuana legalization bill that lawmakers could consider in the upcoming veto session.

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