Marijuana

Understanding Act 86: Vermont's Recreational Pot Law

Gov. Phil Scott signed Act 86 into law in January 2018, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana and cultivate a small number of marijuana plants under state law starting July 1, 2018.

Read Act 86 as enacted here.

Confused by the language? Check out our pot glossary.

Have questions about what the law means for you? Review our FAQ.

Denise Stubbs of the Vermont Hemp Nursery stands among some plants at the Cannabis and Hemp Convention.
Emily Corwin / VPR

The Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention opened at the Champlain Valley Expo this weekend. The recreational use of marijuana has been legal in the state for almost a year. And this year's convention doubled in size from 63 vendors last year, to 130 this weekend.  Many at the convention said that growth mimics the growth of the industry at large. 

The attorneys general of 38 states and territories sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday, urging them: Please, let us bank the money generated by the country's booming cannabis business.

Potency and frequency of use of marijuana can have long-lasting negative effects on developing brains, pediatric psychiatrists say.
Feodora Chiosea / iStock

Doctors, psychiatrists and other health professionals say marijuana can be very damaging to young and developing brains and that they're seeing young people with increasingly negative effects from consuming the drug. 

We're talking about roadside saliva tests - what's measurable and what isn't, and whether the test the Governor wants actually exists.
Kameleon007 / iStock

The fate of the tax-and-regulate marijuana bill is up in the air as Gov. Phil Scott continues to insist on a roadside test for impairment. Many lawmakers and experts say no reliable test exists. We're talking about the political impasse and hearing about the science of what saliva tests can and can't determine.

Key lawmakers say they have no faith in a roadside saliva test to determine driver impairment for marijuana
Labuda / iStock

The fate of the tax-and-regulate marijuana legalization bill is uncertain at the Vermont Statehouse. While Gov. Phil Scott is insisting that the bill include a roadside saliva test to determine driver impairment, key lawmakers say no reliable test exists. 

Key lawmakers say they have no faith in a roadside saliva test to determine driver impairment for marijuana
Labuda / iStock

By a vote of 23 to 5, the Vermont Senate gave its preliminary approval to a so-called tax-and-regulate marijuana bill Thursday. Under the bill, pot could be legally sold in retail outlets beginning in 2021.

As marijuana becomes legal around the country, blacks and Latinos are often left out of new business opportunities. Advocates say people of color are often reluctant to join the growing legal marijuana economy because they were targeted far more often than whites during the war on drugs. Studies show members of such communities were arrested and jailed for illegal marijuana use far more often than whites.

Lawmakers are drafting rules to regulate the cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis. But what Vermont's rules will be and if there's support to make them law remains an open question.
Seastock / iStock

Last year Vermont legalized the possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana. Now Vermont lawmakers are drafting rules for a legal and regulated system to buy, sell and grow cannabis. We're looking at what's being proposed for commercial cannabis in Vermont.

Marijuana plants.
gaspr13 / iStock

The Senate Judiciary Committee is quickly moving ahead with a tax-and-regulate marijuana bill, but the plan could face an uncertain future with the Scott administration because it doesn't include the driver impairment measures that the governor says must be part of the bill.

Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, standing and speaking to people gathered.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Senate leaders say they hope to quickly pass a bill that would create a retail marijuana market that the state would tax and regulate.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe have competing views on the wisdom of moving to a tax-and-regulate model for cannabis sales in Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe said lawmakers in his chamber will fast-track legislation that would create a retail market for cannabis sales in Vermont, but House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said she isn’t convinced Vermonters are ready for a tax-and-regulate system.

Marijuana plants.
gaspr13 / iStock

The Governor’s Marijuana Advisory Commission has issued its final report.

The Governor's Marijuana Advisory Commission is ready to share its findings and recommendations on new pot laws in Vermont.
Labuda / iStock

Even though it's now legal to possess, consume and grow small amounts of marijuana in Vermont, that doesn't mean we've seen the end of pot legislation. The Governor's Marijuana Advisory Commission has been evaluating what has happened in other states and listening to Vermonters' thoughts on the future of pot laws. We'll hear the results from the co-chairs of the commission.

Close-up photo of cannabis plant
Yarygin / iStock

Vermont State Police have disbanded a decades-old program that used military helicopters to spot illicit cannabis farms from on high.

The first retail marijuana store east of the Mississippi could open soon in Northampton, Massachusetts.

CBD products, from oil to food to skin care products, are becoming more common in Vermont and across the country. But questions remain about their legality and how they affect people.
Flickr / Wikimedia Commons

Cannabidiol, often called simply CBD, is becoming big business in Vermont and across the country. Found in items ranging from baked goods to skin creams, it's often followed by claims it can help with everything from headaches to anxiety.

But there's a lot of uncertainty around CBD, its legal status, health benefits, and how it affects people. We're talking about CBD, how the compound is used and how it works.

Starting Wednesday, the sale of recreational marijuana begins in Canada following a law passed over the summer.

The law says anyone in Canada over the age of 18 is allowed to possess marijuana, provided it's less than 30 grams — just over an ounce. Canadians can also grow up to four marijuana plants in their home and buy from a provincially regulated retailer.

Marijuana plants.
gaspr13 / iStock

Supporters of a retail cannabis market in Vermont have a powerful new ally in their corner, as the Vermont Democratic Party has formally endorsed the creation of a taxed-and-regulated system for marijuana sales.

A stock photo close up of the blue lights atop a police cruiser.
deepblue4you / iStock.com

Vermont’s law enforcement agencies are adding nine new "drug recognition experts," or DREs, as the state sees an increase in the number of drug-impaired driving incidents and crashes.

Updated at 8:51 a.m. ET

More than 70 people overdosed in or around a historic Connecticut park near the Yale University campus on Wednesday after receiving what authorities believe was synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. Although there have been no deaths, at least two people suffered life-threatening symptoms, according to authorities.

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