The use of both recreational marijuana and medical marijuana is legal in Vermont. Although regulation surrounding marijuana is relatively relaxed in this state, it is still not possible to legally buy recreational marijuana in Vermont. Efforts are still underway to establish a system for legally growing and dispensing recreational and medicinal marijuana in Vermont.
In 2004, Vermont passed the use of medical marijuana with a state legislature resolution. Although the governor of Vermont did not officially sign the bill, it was passed regardless, eliminating penalties for patients who owned and grew marijuana. Patients were required to register and certify themselves with the Vermont Marijuana Registry. In recent years, more bills have been added to the resolution expanding the use of medical marijuana, the conditions prescriptions can apply to, and the types of marijuana recommended for patients.
Just recently, in 2020, the state of Vermont legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The bill was first introduced in 2019 and quickly passed without the governor's signature. Individual localities will have to opt into legalizing retail establishments, but the recreational use and possession of marijuana in Vermont is legal.
Currently, there are no legal entities within the state of Vermont that allow people to buy marijuana for recreational use. There is a plan in place that appears to be on track, allowing certified dispensaries to open and distribute marijuana legally for adults over 21. These retail dispensaries are set to open in 2022.
As it stands now, registered patients who are approved for medicinal marijuana use can purchase marijuana from certified dispensaries from the VMR. These locations are subject to strict enforcement and certification at the state level. Patients are limited to buying from one dispensary at a time and are limited to the amount of marijuana they can purchase in a 30-day period.
Although consuming cannabis for recreational use is legal in Vermont, some restrictions are still in place surrounding its usage. People may only consume the drug in their private residence, and it is still banned from public use. New recommendations and initiatives have suggested that Vermont's smoke-free laws should also apply to smoking cannabis, particularly in public spaces. Further, driving under the influence of cannabis carries an extreme fine and punishment, with the initial offense setting people back nearly $750 in fines. People are still limited on the amount of cannabis they can possess, with misdemeanors and fines starting once they have over one ounce of the drug.