The majority of Vermont municipalities that voted Tuesday on whether to allow retail cannabis operations within their borders approved such measures, VT Digger reports. In all, 25 of the more than 40 communities voted to allow retail cannabis sales, which were approved by lawmakers in October 2020. Adult cannabis use was first approved by Vermont lawmakers in 2018 but the reforms did not include sales.
Essex, the second-largest municipality in the state, approved retail sales by a 3,589-2,473 margin, while the 19 residents who voted in Norton’s town meeting voted against allowing retail cannabis sales.
James Pepper, chair of the Vermont Cannabis Control Board, called the votes “a very important moment” for the state. Last year, nearly two dozen Vermont communities voted to allow legal sales, including Burlington, the state’s largest city.
“We want Vermonters to be able to access this product close to their home as opposed to having these cannabis deserts around Vermont.” – Pepper to VT Digger
Pepper added that, with the new approvals, his agency has a lot of work to do.
“Towns don’t know where their authority is, where the board’s authority is,” he said in the report.
In all, nearly 50 Vermont communities have voted to opt-in to allowing retail sales within their borders. Once a town votes in favor, businesses can apply for retail licenses, which are considered by the state board.
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