Vermont Is Really Close To Legalizing Marijuana

Lawmakers advocates business owners talk about what marijuana legalization would mean for Vermont

Vermont poised to approve recreational marijuana

511 would make Vermont the ninth state to legalize marijuana, and the first to do so through the legislature (all other states have legalized through the initiative process).

The Vermont bill would allow adults 21 and older to possess of up to 1 ounce of marijuana and have two mature marijuana plants or four immature plants.

Scott has said he would sign the bill, following his veto last session of a measure that also would have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and permitted the cultivation of a few plants.

The move is historic, as Vermont is the first state to legalize the drug via its state legislature, rather than through a ballot initiative, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gov. Phil Scott has said he would sign the bill. The bill has an effective date of July 1, 2018. It does not allow for legal commerce, instead "retaining criminal penalties for the possession, dispensing, or sale of larger amounts of marijuana".

Some proponents of legalization hope Vermont will set up a taxed and regulated marijuana market.

Murphy will work with a state legislature where Democrats control both chambers and many favor legalization. New Jersey already has a medical cannabis program.

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"What I've been hearing from a lot of prospective investors is that they were waiting for the legalization bill to pass".

Massachusetts, Maine and six other states have legalized marijuana use as a result of voter initiatives.

The Trump administration, led by Sessions, has made a number of moves against recreational marijuana in recent months. Simon also believes there weren't really any concessions from last year's bill prior to the governor's promise, and said "everything was certainly within reason from our perspective". Plus, the bill hasn't yet passed New Hampshire's senate, where most progressive cannabis legislation has failed over the last decade in the "Live Free or Die" state.

If the measures advances - and it's expected to - the bill goes to the state Senate, where it will face much more resistance.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu told the Concord Monitor he can't support recreational marijuana because it would exacerbate the state's opiate addiction crisis.

The message being sent to Vermonters is: "Never mind the 9.4 cent tax increase that you're facing, we're going to let you smoke a doobie".

She'll have to hold off on selling those THC remedies for now, since commercial sales under Vermont's coming legalization law will still be forbidden.

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