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.

A new advisory commission created by Gov. Phil Scott this week will focus on the issue of marijuana legalization in Vermont.
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The prospects for legalization of marijuana face a big moment this week: the Vermont House will take up a floor debate over whether to legalize possession of some amounts of pot in Vermont.

Neal Goswami / Vermont Press Bureau

The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday in favor of a bill to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, sending the measure to the full chamber after Democratic leaders secured enough votes to ensure it passes.

House lawmakers gave final approval to a wide-ranging gun bill Tuesday night. The legislation heads now to the Vermont Senate, which is expected to hold a final vote before the end of the week.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

There have been no snow days for elected officials this week, and that’s probably because they have some big legislative deadlines to hit in the next few days.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he wants lawmakers to pass a marijuana driver impairment law before they consider a legalization bill. But transportation officials say the kind of test that Scott wants to use doesn't exist at this time.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson joins the program to talk about a range of topics, including the Legislature's reaction to Gov. Phil Scott's proposal for Vermont school budgets.

Marijuana plants.
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As Vermont's House Judiciary Committee considers a bill to legalize marijuana, there has been discussion about exactly how much marijuana an individual could possess.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he won't support legislation legalizing marijuana in Vermont unless the bill contains strong provisions to allow law enforcement officials to determine if a person is driving while impaired.

Labuda / iStock

Last year, a marijuana legalization bill that would have set up a big state regulatory system similar to Colorado's failed. And many thought legalization would be put on the shelf for a while.

But new legislation being discussed at the State House would allow for personal possession, modeled after the law used by Washington, D.C.

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

It’s been five weeks since lawmakers kicked off the 2017 legislative session, meaning the session is about a quarter over. Here are three issues that lawmakers are trying to tackling this year.

A marijuana plant.
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Last year, the legislative push to legalize marijuana suffered a rather quick demise in the Vermont House. But this year’s body appears more receptive to the proposal, and a bill introduced this week would legalize possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says passage of a property tax reform package is a top priority for this session
Angela Evancie / VPR file

As chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations, South Hero Representative Mitzi Johnson is no stranger to tough leadership assignments. As the presumptive Speaker of the House, Johnson is preparing to juggle more than just budget challenges next year, and says she wants to lawmakers to learn more about Vermont’s problems before they try to solve them.

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Vermonters will soon be a short drive away from easy access to legal marijuana in Massachusetts, and proponents of legalization in Vermont say it’s a game-changer for the legislative debate in Montpelier.

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Starting Thursday, it will be legal in Massachusetts to possess small amounts of marijuana, or to grow it for recreational purposes. In neighboring states like Vermont and New York, where pot possession remains illegal, law enforcement officials are preparing for what legalization in Massachusetts could mean for bordering areas.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

With less than a month remaining in office, Gov. Peter Shumlin is offering pardons to the thousands of people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses in Vermont.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When Vermont legalized medical marijuana sales, the new law put restrictions on the dispensaries that sold the product. And now some growers and distributors are having a hard time raising capital and meeting the challenges of running a business under such a restricted climate.

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More than 2,000 people in Vermont are enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana registry, but some lawmakers say many eligible patients still have trouble obtaining medical cannabis.

Proposed legislation would lower some of the barriers to access.

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Two key lawmakers say they plan to resume the push to legalize cannabis in Vermont, but Governor-elect Phil Scott is urging them not to waste their time on the measure.

Marijuana plants.
Labuda / iStock

On Tuesday, four more states approved the legalization of the use of recreational marijuana. That included two in New England: Massachusetts and Maine.

That could have a profound effect on legalization efforts in Vermont.

courtesy of Green Mountain CBD

A group of investors that includes two prominent Vermont businessmen has reached a tentative agreement to back a hemp farm in Hardwick that is producing pills with a high concentration of a substance claimed to be effective in blocking seizures in epileptics.

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A new WBUR poll finds support for the legalization of marijuana is up among likely Massachusetts voters.

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