The Vermont Senate has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would create a regulated cannabis market in the state, according to a story by My Champlain Valley.
The vote was 23-5 in favor — a majority that makes the approval immune to even a governor’s veto.
The bill would create a state Cannabis Control Board comprised of five full-time members. Two would be appointed by the Governor; the other three would be appointed one each by the state Attorney General, Speaker of the House, and Senate Committee on Committees. The board would develop all rules and regulatory structure, including the licensing of retailers, cultivators, and labs. The Board would be expected to begin its rulemaking by October 1, 2019.
In Vermont, cannabis is already legal for adults to possess, use, and cultivate but the commercial distribution of the plant remains forbidden.
Cannabis would be taxed 10% at retail with an additional 1% available to municipalities. Medical cannabis would not be taxed. The Cannabis Board may also develop additional fees.
The bill would also expand the existing medical cannabis program, opening it for “any disease, condition or treatment as determined in writing by a patient’s healthcare professional.” Under the bill, the state’s retail marketplace would be expected to launch by April 1, 2021.
The Senate must vote one more time on the bill before it moves to the Vermont House of Representatives for consideration, however, which is expected on Friday.