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Vermont House Passes Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

The Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to tax and regulate marijuana sales in the state: The Senate passed similar legislation in the spring.

Current Vermont law, which took effect in 2018, allows for those 21 and older to legally possess and use personal amounts of marijuana – and they can also grow the plant – but it’s not legal to sell it, meaning marijuana stores don’t exist. The House approved the measure to change this by a vote of 90 to 54 through its second reading. If passed through a third and final reading, as expected, it will be sent to the state’s governor for consideration.


Vermont Farmers Fear Pot Bill Will Shut Them Out of the Marijuana Market

Ramsay Mellish knew he would need to adapt if he wanted to survive in Vermont's hard-pressed dairy industry. So, like many others in recent years, the first-generation farmer set out to diversify his crops and started growing hemp.

Mellish and his wife, Caroline, did fine growing the plant last summer, he said, netting a few thousand dollars from selling much, but not all, of the harvest from their eight-acre field. They believed that growing hemp would prepare them to jump at a bigger opportunity: marijuana.

"Ultimately, [that is] the future in the Vermont cannabis world," Mellish told Seven Days over the phone last week as cows mooed loudly in the background. "We'd like to be there at some point." 


How Much Cannabis Each State Sold in First Month of Legal Sales

Illinois dispensaries sold nearly $40 million dollars with of cannabis in the first 31 days of recreational cannabis sales, according to new numbers released last week.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the number on Feb. 3. Officials said the final total of $39,247,840.83 came from the sale of 972,045 cannabis products at licensed retailers across the state.


Vermont: Measure Permitting Retail Marijuana Sales Moves Forward

Senate-backed legislation to regulate retail sales of marijuana to adults continues to advance in Vermont.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee voted 7 to 3 this week in favor of the bill, S. 54. The proposal now awaits consideration from the House Appropriations Committee. If approved, it will go before the full House for a vote.

Senate lawmakers have already approved a version of the bill by a veto-proof supermajority.


Vermont Health Department Launches ‘Let’s Talk Cannabis’ Website

In Vermont, it is legal for adults to possess and consume recreational marijuana. Now, the state has rolled out what could be seen as the latest piece in its broader cannabis infrastructure.

The Vermont Health Department recently launched a new online resource called “Let’s Talk Cannabis.” According to the Health Department, the series of webpages are designed to give Vermonters access to a broad range of information about cannabis and cannabis consumption.


Vermont hemp growers in a ‘panic’ over proposed federal regulations

Some Vermont hemp farmers are in a “panic” over hemp regulations proposed by the federal government this past week that would strictly regulate the amount of THC — the psychoactive chemical found in the plant when it’s harvested.

The rules, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday, Oct. 31, would bar farmers from harvesting hemp plants that have a THC concentration of more than 0.3%. Under Vermont law, farmers can cultivate hemp with a THC concentration under 1%.

State regulators, hemp farmers and processors are concerned that the stricter THC standard could hurt business in Vermont.


For many U.S. farmers who planted hemp, CBD boom leaves bitter taste

Dan Maclure planted eight acres of hemp on his Vermont farm for the first time this year, aiming to cash in on the exploding demand for CBD, a derivative of the plant reputed to ease anxiety and other ills without the high of its close cousin, marijuana.

He persevered when some of his hemp plants grew white with mildew and others failed lab tests and had to be destroyed. With his harvest now complete, Maclure has one more challenge to overcome: selling his surviving crop and recouping an estimated $140,000 investment.

“It’s heart-wrenching thinking about all the work and money you put into it,” said Maclure, who farms in Barton, Vermont, about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border. “I’m not sure I’m going to be venturing out in this again.”


Sow much hemp: A large harvest prompts fears of oversupply

Last week, Sam Markowski pulled his pickup truck into a field where he once planted 10 acres of feed corn. Instead of neat rows of corn stalks, however, thousands of dark green hemp plants dotted the landscape.

Markowski, wearing a fleece and a baseball cap bearing the name of his family's excavation company, threaded his way through the pungent plants toward a lone worker in the distance, framed by hills of fading fall foliage.

Chris Teitsma gently squeezed the flower-laden stalk top of a hemp plant, known as the cola, and explained how he knew the time for harvesting had arrived. "You want them fat and firm like this," Teitsma said, showing off the crop. "The flowers are really dense and packed in there."


20 States expected to fully legalize marijuana by 2024

The legal marijuana industry is budding before our eyes. What had once been considered a taboo industry that was swept under the rug by lawmakers has now become a front-and-center issue, as well as a big-time moneymaker for investors and companies involves in the pot industry.


The industrial uses and possible uses for Hemp

Everybody is talking about hemp. When we recently attended a family gathering in Vermont we talked to three of my young cousins, Heidi, Tammy and Debby, who had planted hemp. A change in the Vermont laws now makes it legal to plant hemp. Four-hundred-fifty or so farms are now doing just that. Dairy farming is not as profitable as it was, and hemp is now in demand. Please remember, industrial hemp does not contain THC, the compound in marijuana that makes you get high.

My cousins got their start with a friend who gave them about 1,900 baby cannabis plants in the spring. They had rototilled one and a half fertile acres of the old family farm. Then they set to planting in early May. There had been rain and their soil had good drainage.


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