Becoming a Patient in Vermont

Vermont allows patients to obtain a registry ID card if their doctor recommends marijuana for the treatment of a debilitating medical condition. With this ID a patient can legally use and cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes. A patient can also designate a primary caregiver for assistance.

A patient and primary caregiver can together have up to two mature marijuana plants, seven immature plants, and two ounces of usable marijuana. You may also own devices for using marijuana, such as pipes and vaporizers.

Eligible Conditions

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic or debilitating disease that produces one or more of the following symptoms:
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
    • Chronic pain
    • Severe nausea
    • Seizures

Application Process

In order to apply for a patient ID, you must first have a written medical marijuana recommendation from your doctor. The form for your doctor's recommendation, your application, and your caregiver's application, should you elect to have a caregiver, can be found here. There is a $50 application fee for patients.

Health Care Professionals

You must receive your recommendation from one of the following health care professionals: an individual licensed to practice medicine; an individual licensed as a naturopathic physician; an individual certified as a physician assistant; or an individual licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse,  If your health care professional is licensed in a state other than Vermont, the department will contact the state's medical practice board when processing the applicant's paperwork, to verify that your doctor is in good standing in that state.

Access/Caregivers

In order to obtain your medicine, you (and your caregiver) must grow marijuana in a secure indoor facility with locks. The law requires you to grow all of your medicine in a single indoor facility and the location of this facility must be specified in your patient/ caregiver application.

A caregiver must also apply with the state and obtain a registry ID card. A patient may only have one caregiver at a time and a person can only be a caregiver for one patient at a time. Your caregiver must be at least 21 years old.  While the laws do not require that that caregiver must be free of convictions for drug related crimes, the Department of Public Safety still appears to require that your caregiver is free of drug related convictions.  See http://vcic.vermont.gov/marijuana-registry/caregivers

Consumption

You may not use marijuana in public, while operating a motor vehicle, in a workplace, or while operating heavy machinery.

Age Limits

If a patient is under the age of 18 his or her application must be signed by both the patient and a parent or guardian.

Confidentiality

The Department of Public Safety must keep confidential the records of all persons registered with the Registry. An exception to this confidentiality policy is that law enforcement has the authority to verify whether or not a person is a registered patient or caregiver. Queries by law enforcement are only authorized in connection with a specific criminal drug investigation.

Housing

The Vermont medical marijuana law does not specifically address housing issues.

Employment

The Vermont medical marijuana law does not specifically address housing issues aside from stating that the medical marijuana provisions do not require employers to accommodate medical marijuana use in the workplace.

Insurance

The law does not require insurance providers to pay for your marijuana.

Out of State Patients

Vermont currently has no reciprocity agreements with other states to honor Vermont's medical marijuana law. This includes even those states that currently have medical marijuana laws of their own.

However, the three-month requirement to show the “bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” will not be required if “a patient had been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a health care professional in another jurisdiction in which the patient had been formerly a resident and the patient, now a resident of Vermont, has the diagnosis confirmed by a health care professional in this State or a neighboring state as provided in subdivision (6) of this section, and the new health care professional has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination.”  (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 4472)