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Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Effective July 1, You Can Legally Have Up To An Ounce Of Marijuana In Vermont

Gov. Phil Scott says he is confident Democratic leaders will drop their plan to raise the statewide property tax rate to avoid a government shutdown on July first
Bob Kinzel
Despite pressure from opponents to veto the legislation, Gov. Phil Scott, seen here last year, has signed into law a bill that will legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Vermont has become the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana through an act of the Legislature.

The Specifics: What You Can (And Can't) Do Under The New Marijuana Law

Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed legislation that will legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and also allow Vermonters to grow up to two mature plants at home. The legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2018.

The bill signing — conducted behind closed doors Monday — marks the culmination of a years-long push by drug reform advocates to remove criminal and civil penalties for recreational cannabis use.

Big Business: Vermont Cannabis Entrepreneurs Bullishly Look Toward The Future

Vermont joins eight other states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, though the statute here is the first to arrive by way of the Legislature, as opposed to citizen referenda.

Vermont’s legalization law isn’t as far-reaching as the ones in place in Colorado or Washington, for example, where governments collect state revenue from retail sales of cannabis in a taxed and regulated commercial market.

Proponents of a tax and regulate system in Vermont say they view the legalization bill signed by Scott this weekend as a major step toward an above-board commercial market here in Vermont.

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