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.

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.

Emily Corwin / VPR News

As attitudes toward pain management change, some researchers say there's better evidence supporting cannabis use for chronic neuropathic pain management than opioids. Yet, for this Vermonter, an opioid prescription costs a dollar, while medical marijuana costs hundreds.

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.

A marijuana plant.
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.

A majority of Vermonters say they support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Democrats hope Gov. Phil Scott's opposition to the wage increase will hurt support for Republicans in the November elections.
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.

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