Vermont's Medical Marijuana Laws & Regulations Vermont's Medical Marijuana Laws & Regulations
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.
In July 2007, Senate Bill 7 expanded the list of qualifying conditions to include “a disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating, and produces severe, persistent, and one or more of the following intractable symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe pain; severe nausea; or seizures.” The cultivation quantities allowed were also increased to two mature and seven immature plants. Licensed physicians in neighboring states were also now allowed to recommend cannabis for Vermont residents.
In June 2011, Senate Bill 17 established provisions for up to four state-licensed distribution facilities to serve up to 1,000 patients each. As of July 2013, the Vermont Department of Public Safety is accepting applications for operating licenses for those dispensaries.
Vermont allows patients to obtain a registry ID card if their health care professional recommends marijuana for the treatment of a debilitating medical condition, as described below. With this ID, a patient can legally use and cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes. A patient can also designate a primary caregiver for assistance. Once dispensaries are operating in the state, patients may designate one for accessing medicine but may no longer cultivate cannabis. A registered 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.
The regulations for Vermont’s medical marijuana program were most recently updated in 2012. The regulations cover procedures for issuing a certificate of registration to a dispensary, and registry identification cards to qualified patients, caregivers, staff of hospice providers and nursing facilities, and employees of dispensaries.
In 2014, S. 247 was passed, which lifted the 1,000 patient cap, created a safety-valve to the 6-month patient-physician relationship requirement, added naturopathic physicians to those who may recommend cannabis to their patients, and clarified language on transportation. New rules were issued in November 2015.
In 2016, S. 14 was passed. The bill changed the qualifying condition "severe pain" to the less restrictive "chronic pain." It also lowered the 6-month relationship period to 3 months, as well as some additional technical changes.
Rules Regulating Cannabis for Symptom Relief (effective 11/30/2015)