A Guide to Vermont Cannabis Laws
Adults age 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of cannabis, as well as two mature and four immature plants, for medical or adult recreational use. However, only medical dispensaries are currently in operation around Vermont. The first recreational dispensaries are set to open in October 2022. Furthermore, dispensaries only accept Vermont-issued medical cards. Using cannabis in public places is illegal.
- Only five dispensaries are currently in operation in the state of Vermont, and all five sell cannabis for medical use only. The first recreational dispensaries should open in late 2022.
- Multiple sclerosis
- HIV or AIDS
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- PTSD requires attestation that the patient is an active therapy client. This can be provided through the Mental Health Care Provider form, or by simply providing the contact information for your therapist.
- Medical conditions that produce one or more of the following symptoms also may qualify: wasting syndrome, chronic pain, severe nausea, or seizures.
How long will it take to process my application?
- You should hear back from us in writing within 30 days of receipt of a completed application. At that time, we’ll let you know if your application has been approved or denied. If the application is approved, you will receive a registry identification card at the mailing address you provided with your application. Any other written correspondence will also be sent to your provided mailing address.
Who qualifies as a health care professional?
- A health care professional is an individual licensed in Vermont to practice medicine. This includes physicians, osteopathic physicians, naturopathic physicians, PAs (physician assistants), and nurse practitioners. This definition also includes professionally licensed individuals under substantially equivalent positions in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York.
- For PTSD patients, please include an attestation that you are currently undergoing therapy for your condition, along with the contact information for your therapist.
What is a registered caregiver, and is a patient required to have one?
- A registered caregiver is a Vermont resident over the age of 21 who has agreed to undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of a registered patient with respect to the use of medical cannabis. A caregiver can go to the dispensary and receive deliveries for his or her patient and/or assist with cannabis cultivation. You are not required to have a caregiver under the medical program.
- A registered patient may register as a caregiver for another registered patient, but may not register as their own caregiver.
- Patients under 18 years of age may have two registered caregivers.
How do I obtain cannabis as a registered patient or caregiver?
- A patient may obtain cannabis from a dispensary. They may also purchase seeds or clones to cultivate cannabis from a dispensary.
- A patient and their registered caregiver may posses not more than two mature marijuana plants, seven immature plants, and two ounces of usable cannabis.
Vermont Cannabis Excise Tax
- Vermont imposes a fourteen percent (14%) excise tax on the retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products. This includes food or beverages that contain any cannabis or cannabis product. Cannabis retailers and integrated licensees are required to collect the excise tax from purchasers at the time of a taxable sales transaction. These are the only two types of businesses allowed to make retail sales of cannabis.
- Note that buying or selling cannabis for resale (such as a sale from a cultivator to a retailer) is not subject to cannabis excise tax because the transaction is not a retail sale.
- Adult use retail: Recreational marijuana sales will be subject to a 14% cannabis excise tax, and Vermont’s 6% statewide sales tax. Estimate roughly 20% in taxes out the door.
- Medical marijuana: Purchases are not taxed.
Vermont Cannabis Advertising Guide
- Cannabis Establishments are prohibited from using objects, such as toys, inflatables, movie characters, cartoon characters, child-friendly depictions of food or other consumables, or include any other display, depiction, or image designed in any manner likely to be appealing to minors or anyone under 21 years of age. This includes, but is not limited to, brand logo development and any advertising used for the purposes of marketing the licensee’s dispensary and/or products.
- Cannabis Establishments are prohibited from advertising or promoting in a manner that is false, untrue, or misleading.
- Cannabis Establishments are prohibited from including in its advertising any statement concerning a brand or product that is inconsistent with any statement on the labeling thereof.
- Websites for Cannabis Establishments must have age-gating.
- Social media accounts for Cannabis Establishments may only promote products using links to their age-gated websites. Any images or other text regarding products is otherwise prohibited.
Audience Composition Presumptions for Advertising
- When considering whether a proposed advertisement meets the requirements of 7 V.S.A. § 864 and of this rule, the Board will make the following presumptions:
- That more than 15% of the audience will be under 21 years of age, unless the prospective advertiser can show by a preponderance of the evidence that less than 15% of the audience is reasonably expected to be under 21 years of age. Evidence must include reliable, verifiable, and current audience composition data.
- That the audience for any outdoor advertisement is the general public, and those under 21 years of age will have the same prevalence in that audience as they do in the general public, unless a prospective advertiser can demonstrate that an outdoor space will not be accessed by the general public and that those who can access it meet the audience metric of 7 V.S.A. § 864(c).
- Except for signage as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 861(2)(D), window displays, or items, text, or objects inside a retail Cannabis Establishment that are visible to a person standing outside the establishment, will be considered an outdoor advertisement for the purposes of this rule.
Vermont Marijuana Laws and Penalties
|Vermont Laws and Penalties|
|1 oz or less*||No penalty||None||$0|
|1 – 2 oz (first offense)||Misdemeanor||6 months||$500|
|1 – 2 oz (subsequent offense)||Misdemeanor||2 years||$2,000|
|2 oz – 1 lb||Felony||3 years||$10,000|
|1 – 10 lbs||Felony||5 years||$100,000|
|10 lbs or more||Felony||15 years||$500,000|
|* By persons 21 years of age or older.|
|Less than 1/2 oz||Misdemeanor||2 years||$10,000|
|1/2 oz – 1 lb||Felony||5 years||$100,000|
|1 – 50 lbs||Felony||15 years||$500,000|
|More than 50 lbs||Felony||30 years||$1,000,000|
|To a minor||Felony||5 years||$25,000|
|2 plants (and up to 4 immature plants)||No penalty||None||$0|
|3 – 10 plants **||Felony||3 years||$10,000|
|11 – 25 plants||Felony||5 years||$100,000|
|More than 25 plants||Felony||15 years||$500,000|
|Hash & Concentrates|
|5 grams or less *||No penalty||None||$0|
|More than 5 grams (first offense) **||Misdemeanor||6 months||$500|
|More than 5 grams (subsequent offense)||Misdemeanor||2 years||$2,000|
|* By persons 21 years of age or older.|
|Penalties for hashish are similar to marijuana penalties. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.|
|Possession of paraphernalia*||Civil Violation||None||$200|
|Sale of paraphernalia||Misdemeanor||1 year||$1,000|
|To a minor||Misdemeanor||2 years||$2,000|
|*By persons 21 years of age or older.|