The Vermont House of Representatives yesterday approved the bill to legalize cannabis sales in the state by a vote of 90 to 54.
Vermont has legalized home possession and home cultivation of cannabis for personal use in 2018, without a retail system. The current bill proposes to address this problem by implementing taxation and regulatory model similar to those of most other legal states.
The Vermont Senate has already approved the bill in 2019.
Since 2004, we’ve taken a phased approach to reform. Said Democratic Representative John Gannon, adding that the legislation “benefits from research conducted by the governor’s cannabis commission.
The key feature of this system is consumer protection. He said.
It replaces an illicit market with a strictly regulated market. Provides safe access to predictable and tested products. Also, no access to cannabis establishments for those under 21 years of age.
A further vote in Parliament, expected on Thursday, needed to finalize the passage of the bill, a formality given Wednesday’s vote. The House of Representatives and the Senate will then have to pool the two versions of the voted text and pass, or not, the various amendments proposed by the different committees that intervened in the text.
Overall, the bill establishes a commercial cannabis market in the state, creates different categories of commercial licenses, establishes a government agency to oversee the new industry and sets legal sales tax rates. THC in the flower will limit THC to 30% and concentrates will limit to 60% THC. The legislation also includes provisions to change references in the current state law from “marijuana” to “cannabis”.
Various amendments are still to be discussed, such as the level of taxation, with an excise tax proposed at 14%. In addition to the 6% state tax, or the use of tax revenue. With the draft stipulating that 30% of the revenue must be allocated to a drug treatment program.
The first outlets will not open until July 2021.