The Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier, Vermont.

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Vermont Senate Passes Compromise Cannabis Bill, House Extends Session

Vermont’s legislature could take up cannabis legalization before this session ends after all, as the Senate passed a compromise bill on Friday which could be taken up by the House on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. Last week, the chambers passed separate measures that were too far apart – the House version would allow adult possession and cultivation, while the Senate version would implement a taxed and regulated regime.

The legislature was set to adjourn on Saturday, leaving both bills in limbo, however Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said the chamber would reconvene on Wednesday. It’s not clear whether the House will take up the compromise legislation; which would legalize possession of small amounts and limited home grows by adults beginning in July 2018. In the meantime, a commission would develop a tax-and-regulate scheme and present it to the legislature next year.

Sen. Dick Sears, a pro-legalization Democrat, called the compromise “a way for Vermont to join two other New England states (Massachusetts and Maine) to have a legalized, regulated seed-to-sale system at some point in the hopefully near future.”

The measure passed the chamber 20-9. However, Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has not supported any plan legalizing cannabis and there is no guarantee he will sign the measure if it makes it to his desk.

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