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Retail cannabis forum stirs debate over economic benefit, public health risks


Bennington, Burlington and Brattleboro have approved it. So have Windsor, Strafford and more than 20 other Vermont communities.

And chances are, Hartford Selectboard Vice Chair Joe Major expects, voters in Hartford will have to decide whether they want to approve it, too.

The “it” in this instance is retail sale of recreational marijuana, which the Vermont Legislature legalized — and Gov. Phil Scott let pass into law — effective in October 2022.

“There is a strong possibility that Hartford will ask its residents on (Town Meeting Day) of March 2022 if they want to opt in to allow cannabis sales in Hartford,” Major said in introducing the topic at a town hall discussion Monday night at Hartford High School.


Hartford to hold cannabis town hall


The town of Hartford will be holding an informational meeting on cannabis legislation next week.

The Hartford Selectboard and Hartford Community Coalition want to hear from you in a town hall scheduled for Monday.

They say the state legislature and Vermont Cannabis Control Board are in the process of developing ordinances and policies for a regulated market for cannabis.

The meeting will be held at the Hartford High School auditorium starting at 6 p.m.


Milton could see large cannabis growing facility

indoor grow operation

MILTON, Vt. (WCAX) - With adult-use cannabis businesses coming to Vermont next year, growers are looking to build facilities locally. The Cannabis Control Board is still ironing out some details, but some companies have already started other permitting processes.

The Cannabis Control Board is working to keep business local, focusing on small cultivators. However, High Fidelity, parent company to CeresMED, along with the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, filed an Act 250 application earlier this month for a 48,000 square foot grow facility in Milton.

“You can have a facility that’s 45,000 square feet, 100,000 square feet, but it doesn’t mean you can grow within the total balance of that,” said Kyle Harris, a member of the CCB.


A year ahead of legal sales, Vt. cannabis regulators want industry to be small-scale, equitable

cannabis buds

In about one year — by October 2022 — Vermont's retail cannabis market is scheduled to go into place, and the state's Cannabis Control Board has already made some key decisions that will shape Vermont’s legal marijuana marketplace.

VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb spoke with senior political correspondent, Bob Kinzel. Their conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Mitch Wertlieb: In one of their earliest and most important decisions, the board has decided to prioritize small marijuana growers, and why are they doing this in particular?

Bob Kinzel: Mitch, they're really doing this at the direction of the Legislature, and I think it might be one of the most important decisions that they've made, because it has a rippling effect on many aspects of this issue.


States Move To Ban Delta-8 THC

An increasing number of states are banning Delta-8 THC as federal regulators verify its legality.

Delta-8 THC has become very popular, prompting more jurisdictions to restrict access to the commodity, which is often generated from hemp extracts.

Varying Responses

To limit market access, outright restrictions are being implemented and measures to prohibit the products are being considered.

According to U.S. Hemp Authority President Marielle Weintraub, states will continue to restrict Delta-8 THC and other products like it because the cannabinoid is classified as a restricted narcotic under federal law.


Vermont is the newest state to ban Delta 8 THC

According to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Farms, and Markets (AAFM), all hemp products containing Delta 8 THC are illegal, a change that went into effect on April 23 of this year.

The Vermont AAFM sent out an email to all registered hemp farmers to inform them of the new statute. As of now, Vermont is one of 12 states that have banned the production of Delta 8 THC products. The other states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.


Nearly 100 People Apply to Be on Vermont's Cannabis Control Board

cartoon drawing of man with marijuana lead as head, cashing out at a cannabis dispensary
Nearly 100 people have applied to be one of three representatives on Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board, a powerful entity that will implement rules and regulations and oversee licensing for the state’s nascent adult-use marijuana marketplace.

Applicant names are considered confidential under Act 164, the law passed last year that legalized recreational cannabis sales in Vermont starting in 2022. But Gov. Phil Scott’s office, which is overseeing the application process, released some demographic information about the 94 people who applied during a two-week period in December:


Bernie Sanders Celebrates His Home State’s Marijuana Reform Milestone

“Let me congratulate the state legislature for making Vermont the 11th state in the country to legalize marijuana and also for expunging past marijuana convictions,” Sanders tweeted.

Vermont made history in 2018 by becoming the first state to legalize recreational cannabis through the Legislature. Lawmakers forgot one thing, though — to create a regulated and legal marijuana market in the process.


Vermont legalizes sales of recreational marijuana with new bill

Vermont has become the latest U.S. state to legalize cannabis sales after Governor Phil Scott allowed a new marijuana commercialization bill to take effect without his signature. 

In the run-up to his announcement, there was speculation the Vermont governor could even veto the bill, which passed the state legislature last month. Governor Scott was reluctant to sign the legislation over several concerns regarding driving under the influence of cannabis and vaping products, and what he feels as a lack of social equity provisions in the new bill.

With this move, Vermont became the 11th state to tax and regulate marijuana sales and the second to approve it via state legislature. 


Vermont Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Sales

Vermont has become the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana sales with an announcement from Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday that he will let a bill establishing a regulated cannabis market become law without his signature.


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