Vermont

Tue
02
Jun

Vermont Agency of Agriculture finalizes hemp rules

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has finalized rules for growing hemp for the current growing season.

The rules set standards for record-keeping, reporting, testing, and labeling. They also include provisions for disposal of non-compliant crops and products, and inspections and enforcement.

The rules are designed to protect public health, safety, and welfare, and to support the Vermont brand and production of quality agricultural products.

“The process of educating hemp registrants on how the rules apply to their operations is just beginning, and the Agency looks forward to this next phase,” Cary Giguere, the agency’s director of Public Health and Agriculture Resource Management, said in a written statement.

Wed
20
May

Will States Impacted By Coronavirus Turn To Marijuana Legalization?

States still searching for the best path forward in balancing economic and health concerns amid the continuing coronavirus outbreak also face another challenge once businesses reopen: recovering billions lost in state tax revenue, as well as millions of lost jobs.

In the long term, marijuana legalization might provide an answer. Even in historically conservative Texas, where marijuana is not legal but has been decriminalized, a movement is growing to legalize cannabis. Many believe the resulting tax revenue can help the state recover.

Tue
03
Mar

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.

Thu
13
Feb

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." 

Tue
11
Feb

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.

Fri
07
Feb

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.

Wed
04
Dec

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.

Thu
07
Nov

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.

Mon
04
Nov

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.”

Thu
31
Oct

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."

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