Vermont is the latest state to see its legal cannabis retail industry officially open up for sales.
Earlier this fall, the Vermont Cannabis Control Board issued its first licenses for adult-use cannabis retail sales to Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland, a social equity applicant, and Flora Cannabis in Middlebury. Additionally, the Board granted permission for Ceres Med in South Burlington to transition from medical to adult-use cannabis sales.
As reported by the Burlington Free Press, at least 30 applicants have applied for retail licenses, and more licenses are expected to be issued in the near future.
“For years, Vermonters have voiced their support for allowing adults 21 and older to purchase cannabis from regulated, tax-paying small businesses,” says Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project. “Now, Vermont has legalized cannabis and is well on its way to establishing a well-regulated, equitable market. We are very grateful to our allies in the state for all of their efforts over the years in support of sensible cannabis policies.”
Adults 21 years of age or older with a valid ID can now purchase a total of up to one ounce of marijuana or 8,400 milligrams of THC in any other product.
The Marijuana Policy Project has advocated for cannabis policy reforms in Vermont for more than 15 years. The state legislature passed a limited medical cannabis law in 2004, decriminalized possession in 2013, and has gradually improved its cannabis policies in the years since.
In 2018, Vermont successfully legalized possession and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older, but the state did not act to legalize and regulate sales until October 7, 2020, when Gov. Phil Scott announced that he would allow S. 54 — the bill to regulate and tax cannabis sales — to become law without his signature.
This made Vermont the 11th state to regulate adult-use cannabis sales and the second state to do so legislatively rather than by voter initiative.
Now, there are 15 states with legal adult-use cannabis sales. Four additional states (Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia) and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for adults but sales have yet to begin.
Voters in five additional states will consider legalization initiatives or referrals on Election Day: Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota.