Marijuana is Legal▼▲
Vermont has had a medical marijuana program since July 2004. The program did not initially give cannabis businesses the ability to sell marijuana to cardholders. It was not until 2011 that Vermont corrected the issue, signing into law a series of regulations which would support the licensing, oversight, and implementation of medical marijuana dispensaries.
Initially, the laws limited Vermont to four medical dispensaries. Medical dispensaries were not permitted to provide more than 1,000 cardholders at a time with care.
In 2014, the cardholder cap was removed and, though the number of dispensaries remained unchanged, dispensary locations were given the authority to deliver cannabis or cannabis-infused products to cardholders and their primary caregivers.
In 2013, Vermont passed decriminalization laws making the possession of small amounts of marijuana for any person aged 21 and older a fine rather than a criminal offense.
And, in January 2018, the governor of Vermont signed HB511, legalizing the possession, growth, and use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over. Vermont became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use through an act of legislature rather than voter referendum.
Reminiscent of the introduction of the medical marijuana laws in Vermont, the 2018 law allowing adults aged 21 and older to use, possess, and grow marijuana does not give individuals or companies the authority to sell or process to marijuana products for redistribution.
Purchase and Possession Limits▼▲
Vermont allows medical cardholders or their caregiver to possess as much as two ounces of cannabis at any time without fear of legal penalty. Dispensary locations are required to track sales, ensuring cardholders purchase no more than two ounces in any 30-day period.
Recreational consumers are allowed to possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana flower or as much as five grams of hashish or marijuana extract.
If an individual aged 21 or older who is not registered as a medical cardholder is caught in possession of more than an ounce, a six-month jail sentence and up to a $500 fine may be held against them.
First-time offenders under the age of 21 will be required to complete a youth substance abuse safety program.
Growing Marijuana at Home▼▲
A cardholder or their primary caregiver may grow two mature, flowering plants and as many as seven immature plants. Adults 21 and older can grow up to two mature, harvestable marijuana plants and as many as four immature marijuana plants.
Vermont allows cardholders and their caregivers to grow up to two mature, budding marijuana plants at a time and up to seven immature plants or seedlings. Adults 21 and older may legally grow as many as six plants total, with no more than two mature plants and four immature plants at any one time.
All marijuana grown at home in excess of two ounces for medical cardholders and one ounce for recreational consumers must be kept at home. Cannabis produced from home-grown plants is exempt from the possession limits as long as the excess is kept securely at home.
Any person caught growing marijuana at home in excess of either medical or recreational marijuana limit may be subject to misdemeanor charges, including as many as six months in jail and fines up to $500. If a person is caught with 10 marijuana plants or more in Vermont, felony charges, including multiple years in prison, become a possibility.
Marijuana grown at home must be kept in a space out of public view with a mechanism to keep children and other individuals from accessing the grow space.
Driving and Marijuana▼▲
Driving While Intoxicated
Being intoxicated by marijuana while behind the wheel or in operational control of a vehicle, boat, heavy machinery, or any other vehicle powered by more than just muscles is expressly forbidden. Any person - including medical marijuana cardholders - caught driving while under the influence of cannabis is subject to 90-day suspension of driving privileges, fines up to $750, and a term of imprisonment not more than 24 months.
Additionally, consumption of marijuana while driving is itself a separate offense, punishable by a $500 fine.
Driving While in Possession of Marijuana
Marijuana can be delivered from a medical cannabis dispensary to a cardholder. Additionally, a registered cardholder, their caregiver, and adults 21 and older can transport their cannabis products under two main conditions:
- The cannabis or cannabis-infused product is in a locked container
- The cannabis product never leaves the state
Marijuana products must be sealed and unopened for them to be legal to travel with. Recreational marijuana is held to the same standard.
Put simply: Keep the weed out of sight and out of reach.