Vermont Legal Information
In 2004, Vermont Senate Bill 76 established a patient registry that provided legal protections for qualifying patients and their primary caregivers who possess or cultivate small amounts of medical cannabis. Patients and their designated caregivers may possess up to two ounces of usable cannabis. In 2007, Senate Bill 7 increased the cultivation limits to two mature and seven immature plants and allowed licensed physicians in neighboring states to recommend cannabis for Vermont residents. SB7 also expanded the qualifying conditions to include any chronic, debilitating condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, or seizures. In June 2011, Senate Bill 17 authorized up to four state-licensed distribution facilities to serve up to 1,000 patients each. Once dispensaries are operating in the state, patients may designate one for accessing medicine but may no longer cultivate cannabis.
In 2014, the program was expanded through S. 247, and new rules were issued in November 2015. In 2016, S. 14 was passed, which changed the qualifying condition of "severe pain" to less restrictive "chronic pain."
In This Section
Vermont’s first medical cannabis law, Senate Bill 76, went into effect July 1, 2004, establishing a registry that provided protections for patients with debilitating medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. At that time, patients or their primary caregivers could legally possess no more than two ounces of usable cannabis and cultivate no more than three plants, of which only one could be mature.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.
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.
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be licensed under chapter 23 or chapter 33 of Title 26, and is licensed with authority to prescribe drugs under Title 26; or an individual certified as a physician’s assistant under chapter 31 of Title 26, or an individual licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse under chapter 28 of Title 26.
Every state has varying laws and regulations for caregivers, cultivators and medical cannabis providers. This section includes an overview of state requirements and links to necessary forms and applications.