Vermont Cannabis Consultant and State Licensing Assistance
Although the possession and use of recreational marijuana in Vermont was legalized in 2018, however lawmakers failed to pass any framework to regulate the production and sale of adult-use cannabis. On October 7, 2020, Vermont’s S54 to regulate and tax cannabis sales became law. January 1, 2021, new statutes and rules adopted by the Cannabis Control Board, governing the Medical Cannabis Registry and Medical Cannabis Dispensaries will take effect. Those programs transfer from the Department Public Safety to the Board.
S54 Law in Vermont S54 established a regulatory system for production and sale of cannabis and cannabis products in Vermont. The bill also established the Cannabis Control Board as regulatory authority for Vermont’s commercial cannabis market. The Cannabis Control Board is to adopt regulations and administer a licensing program for cannabis establishments.
S54 states that Adults age 21 and older may:
- Possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis or five grams of hashish.
- Cultivate up to 2 mature and four immature plants in a secure location.
- Possess the cannabis produced by the plants at the same secure location.
Five Types of Licenses available in Vermont:
- Cultivator (commercial cultivation of cannabis)
- Product manufacturer (manufacture, prepare, and package cannabis products; sell cannabis products to licensed retailer, wholesaler, or another licensed product manufacturer)
- Testing Laboratory (test cannabis for product manufacturers, cultivators, retailers and wholesalers.
- Retailer (sell cannabis products to consumers for off-site consumption)
- Wholesaler (buys cannabis from cultivators and processes, transports, and sells cannabis to licensed product manufacturers and retailers)
A maximum of one type of each license can be obtained per applicant. Vermont residency is not required, however residency will be considered in prioritizing issuance of licenses.
For any cannabis establishment, qualifications for licensure include:
- Fingerprint-based criminal history record check and regulatory record check.
- Oversight requirements.
- Inspection requirements.
- Records to be kept by licensees and required availability of records.
- Employment and training requirements.
- Security requirements, including lighting, physical security, video, and alarm requirements.
- Restrictions on advertising, marketing, and signage.
- Health and safety requirements.
S54 set a 14% cannabis excise tax, plus Vermont’s 6% sales tax with no local option tax.