Vermont House and Senate Reach Deal on Legislation to Legalize Cannabis Sales
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Vermont House and Senate Reach Deal on Legislation to Legalize Cannabis Sales

Lawmakers agreed on a compromise proposal Sept. 15 that would create a legal cannabis market in the state.

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September 17, 2020

The Vermont House and Senate reached a deal Sept. 15 on legislation to legalize cannabis sales and create a legal marketplace in the state, according to a VTDigger report.

The bill, S.54, would allow dispensaries to open May 1, 2022, according to VTDigger, and would impose a 14% excise tax and a 6% sales tax on cannabis sales.

Lawmakers finalized the compromise proposal after reaching an agreement on how the state would establish advertising regulations for the industry, the news outlet reported.

Under the bill, the Cannabis Control Board, which is responsible for regulating the industry, will collaborate with the Vermont Health Department and the Attorney General’s office to recommend advertising restrictions that would have to be approved by the legislature next year before becoming law, according to VTDigger.

The legislature also reached an agreement on how cannabis revenue will be granted to municipalities, the news outlet reported, ultimately deciding to give towns funds from cannabis licensing fees.

The legislation requires 30% of cannabis excise revenues to fund substance abuse and prevention programs, according to VTDigger, and includes a measure that would allow police to use saliva tests to screen drivers for drug use.

Gov. Phil Scott has indicated that he would support a legal cannabis market in the state as long as policies are in place to bolster drug use prevention and roadside safety, the news outlet reported, and the House and Senate must approve the legislation again before sending the final bill to Scott.