Blog content updated 10/2/20 to reflect new updates.
Cannabis cultivation and possession has been legal in Vermont since 2018, and now a bill to regulate and tax cannabis sales has passed both the House and Senate. Now the bill awaits signing on the desk of Governor Phil Scott.
Progress of Adult Use and Sales
On July 1st, 2018, it became legal in Vermont for adults 21 and older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of cannabis. This was the first time in history that adult use was legalized through legislature, rather than a vote of the people. The House and Senate agreed to a final compromise with regards to tax and regulation of cannabis sales on September 15th, 2020. Currently, the bill is on the desk of Governor Phil Scott.
A detailed report that was published by Vincente Sederberg, LLP assessed the potential tax revenues associated with passing the latest bill S. 54. In particular, demand would be high for adult-use dispensaries. The report concluded that if passed, the state could expect “tens of millions per year in revenue”.
Update: Governor Cites Social Justice Objections
Most recently, the Governor of Vermont expressed that he had received letters from racial justice groups asking him to veto bill S. 54. His previous concerns about impaired driving, taxes and local control have been addressed in the most recent bill. However, the Vermont Growers Association and other similar organizations, like the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, have also voiced their concerns about social justice. David Zuckerman, a presiding officer of the senate, stated that bill S. 54 does promote social equity and that delaying the bill for another year would cause financial losses across the board. He also states that improvements could still be made, and that adding companion legislation surrounding criminal justice issues would also be beneficial.
Now is the time to get your team together and review Vermont’s latest provisions set forth by bill S. 54. Acknowledging these guidelines and constructing a narrative that stands out is critical in the application preparation process. Contact Canna Business Services for assistance in developing a business plan that adheres to these standards.