Marijuana

Understanding Act 86: Vermont's Recreational Pot Law

Gov. Phil Scott signed Act 86 into law in January 2018, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana and cultivate a small number of marijuana plants under state law starting July 1, 2018.

Read Act 86 as enacted here.

Confused by the language? Check out our pot glossary.

Have questions about what the law means for you? Review our FAQ.

State's attorneys in Windsor and Chittenden County are working with Vermont Law School's Center For Justice Reform on efforts to expunge misdemeanor marijuana offenses from the criminal records of Vermonters.
MmeEmil / iStock

On July 1 Vermont's marijuana laws will allow adults 21 and older to possess and cultivate small quantities of the drug for personal use. But possession under two ounces has been a misdemeanor offense in Vermont, which means thousands of Vermonters will have criminal records for offenses that will soon be considered legal in the state. Now Vermont Law School is working with states attorneys in two counties to facilitate expunging those offenses from Vermonters' criminal records.

Around 1,500 people attended a cannabis and hemp convention in South Burlington. Even though the state's marijuana legalization law doesn't create a market to sell it, entrepreneurs still see potential opportunities in the industry.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Vermont's marijuana legalization law doesn't create a market to sell it, but that hasn't stopped people from finding ways to capitalize on legal cannabis.

Marijuana seeds (left), a young marijuana plant (center), and a mature flowering marijuana plant. Cultivating a limited number of mature plants will be legal in Vermont on July 1, but getting started raises legal questions.
Wikimedia

Starting July 1, Vermonters 21 and older can legally posses an ounce of marijuana and cultivate a small number of the plants. But marijuana sales and distribution remain illegal under state law, so if you're interested, how can you get the seeds to get started? We're talking about how to legally start growing under Vermont's marijuana laws.

With six days left until the fiscal year expires, Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers are still at odds over how much money the state should use to lower property tax rates next year.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

An eleventh-hour push to resurrect legislation that would have created a legal market for retail marijuana sales fizzled out Friday, but many elected officials say it’s only a matter of time before Vermont decides to tax and regulate cannabis.

Winooski Rep. Diana Gonzalez says it looks like the House has enough votes right now to pass a bill that would create a taxed-and-regulated market for retail cannabis sales.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A surprise twist in the Statehouse Thursday afternoon has the issue of marijuana legalization suddenly on the front burner in Montpelier again.

Marijuana clones grow behind glass in Milton, Vt., at the headquarters of Champlain Valley Dispensary/Southern Vermont Wellness, run by Shayne Lynn.
Emily Corwin / VPR File

Right now, the Vermont government is running — in small part — on medical marijuana patients' registration fees. This fact has some medical marijuana patients up in arms.

Former Windsor County State's Attorney Robert Sand told lawmakers this week that the advent of marijauna legalization in Vermont should compel lawmakers to revisit the expungement process for misdemeanor cannabis convictions.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

After making some drastic changes to the state’s cannabis laws earlier this year, some lawmakers are now asking whether they should make it easier for people to expunge their old misdemeanor marijuana convictions.

ThomasVogel / iStock

In the wake of the passage of Vermont's recreational marijuana law, Vermont Edition looked at the health impact of smoking cannabis.

Dr. Garth Garrison, a pulmonary disease specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, spoke about what is currently known about smoking, smoking marijuana specifically, and cancer.

We're talking about what Vermont's marijuana laws could mean for employment and drug testing.
edwardolive / iStock

Gov. Phil Scott has signed Vermont's marijuana legalization bill into law. We're looking at what it could mean for workers, employers and drug test policies.

Gov. Phil Scott says he is confident Democratic leaders will drop their plan to raise the statewide property tax rate to avoid a government shutdown on July first
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Vermont has become the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana through an act of the Legislature.

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here in his Montpelier office on the one year anniversary into his two-year gubernatorial term.
Henry Epp / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he expects to sign the marijuana legalization bill that lawmakers sent him this week before Monday. But supporters of the legislation won’t get to celebrate at a public signing ceremony.

Recent scientific reviews have found substantial evidence that marijuana can be useful in easing at least some types of chronic pain. Yet even for the majority of Americans who live in states that have legalized medical marijuana, choosing opioids can be much cheaper.

Tim Fair, center, talks to a prospective customer at a cannabis industry event in the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday. Fair, a lawyer, says the legalization bill passed by lawmakers this week sets the stage for a more robust marijuana sector in the future.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The marijuana legalization bill that Gov. Phil Scott is expected to sign in the next few days won’t create the above-board commercial market that many pot-reform advocates had been pushing for, but cannabis entrepreneurs say it’s a step in the right direction.

Marijuana plants
Yarygin / iStock

The Legislature is sending a marijuana bill (H.511) to Gov. Phil Scott for his signature, which would make Vermont the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislative process.

Now exactly what does the bill allow you to do?

Marijuana plants.
Labuda / iStock

The Vermont Senate has given its approval to legislation legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. On a voice vote, the Senate backed a bill Wednesday that allows individuals to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow two mature plants.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman addresses supporters of a tax-and-regulate marijuana legalization plan at the Statehouse on Tuesday.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Supporters of a plan to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana are making it clear that the current legalization bill being considered by Vermont lawmakers is just one small step in a much broader effort.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate Judiciary committee, is expressing strong concerns about President Trump's new Supreme Court nominee, appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh
Office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, courtesy / file

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he strongly opposes a decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to have the Department of Justice crack down on states that have legalized marijuana and Leahy says he will do everything that he can to block this new policy from going into place.

The Vermont House has voted to prohibit the holding of "coyote killing" tournaments
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

A plan to legalize the personal possession of small amounts of marijuana cleared an important hurdle Thursday evening when the Vermont House gave its approval to the legislation by a vote of 81 to 63.

Ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant in Seattle on June 25, 2014.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press File

Lawmakers are getting ready to debate and vote on the highly controversial issue of marijuana possession right at the start of the new session.

Gov. Phil Scott says he would support a "libertarian approach" to legalizing personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott told Vermont Edition Friday that he will support efforts to legalize the personal possession of marijuana in the opening weeks of the 2018 legislative session.

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