A group of roughly 50 cannabis consumers and advocates met outside the Vermont Statehouse Oct. 4 to call on Gov. Phil Scott to veto a bill that would tax and regulate cannabis sales, according to a WCAX report.
The legislation, Senate Bill 54, cleared the legislature in a Sept. 22 Senate vote, and aims to establish a regulated system for the production and sale of adult-use cannabis products in the state.
The bill would create the Cannabis Control Board to oversee the commercial cannabis market, as well as a 12-member advisory board with appointed members that have experience in public health, social justice and equity issues, women- and minority-owned business ownership, and substance abuse prevention, as well as cannabis experience, WCAX reported.
Some who voiced opposition to the legislation claim that it fails to address social and racial justice issues, according to the news outlet. Among them was Vermont Racial Justice Alliance’s (VRJA) Mark Hughes, who expressed concerns about who would be appointed to sit on the advisory board, WACX reported.
The VRJA recently submitted proposals to the state legislature to revamp the legislation, according to the news outlet.
The Vermont Growers Association also turned out to express concerns about the bill, WACX reported, with member Geoffrey Pizzutillo telling the news outlet that the legislation would prevent many from transitioning from the state’s illicit market to the regulated one.
Scott received the bill Oct. 1, according to WACX, and can either sign it into law, veto it or allow it to become law without taking any action.