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Overview of Laws Regarding Medical Marijuana in Vermont

2004 – Governor James Douglas passes the “Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness”, alongside Senate Bill 76 (SB 76) and House Bill 645 (HB 645). This removed state-level penalties on the use and possession of marijuana for those with debilitating conditions.

2007 – SB 00007 is passed, amending the law to require a bona-fide patient-physician relationship.

2011 – SB 17 is passed, providing a framework for the registering of up to 4 medical marijuana dispensaries for the state of Vermont. This is known as “An Act Relating To Registering Four Nonprofit Organizations To Dispense Marijuana For Symptom Relief”.

2013 – Two medical marijuana dispensaries open.

Patients may possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana on their persons.

Home cultivation is allowed. Up to 9 plants may be grown, of which no more than 2 may be mature.

No more than 5 dispensaries may be operational at any one time. A sixth may be added should patient registry reach above 7000. Dispensaries may deliver to patient’s homes.

Possession of marijuana is effectively decriminalized in Vermont, with possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana being a Civil Violation penalty with no incarceration and a fine of $200 (first offense), $300 (second offense) and $500 (subsequent offenses). Possession of 5 g or less of hash/concentrate brings the same penalties.

Possession of more than two ounces is a felony, whilst possession of between 1 and 2 ounces of cannabis is a misdemeanor. Sale of less than ½ an ounce is also a misdemeanor. Marijuana felonies carry a fine of at least $10,000. Misdemeanors, between $500 and $2,000.

Cultivation of 1-2 cannabis plants is a misdemeanor, with between 6 months and 2 years incarceration and/or a fine of between $500 and $2000. Cultivating more than 2 cannabis plants is a felony, with 3 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $10,000 – $500,000 for more than 25 plants (which will also attract a prison sentence of 15 years).

Possession of paraphernalia by persons aged 21 or over is a Civil Violation, with no incarceration and a $200 fine. Sale of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, with up to 1 year incarceration and a $1,000 fine.