Vermont House Approves Bill Granting Automatic Expungement

The Vermont House of Representatives voted last week to approve a bill that would grant automatic expungement of low-level marijuana offenses while increasing the limits on the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis. 


Vermont Considers Expanding Cannabis Expungements

In Vermont, the House and Senate are working on legislation that would create a legal marketplace for cannabis in the New England state. They are now considering adding further expunging of cannabis convictions to the legalization package.


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.


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.


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.


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