Legal States

Vermont Medical Marijuana Facts

Vermont Medical Marijuana Statistics and Marijuana Facts

Medical marijuana arrived in Vermont in 2004 via Senate Bill 76, officially termed “Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness.” The law easily cleared the state House and Senate but was in fact never signed by Governor James Douglas and so became law automatically after the signing period expired. Originally, the act simply removed criminal penalties for possession and cultivation for patients diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition” and a mandatory registry to issue Vermont marijuana cards to qualifying individuals. That law was amended in 2007 to better align its intentions with the greater national realities and facts of medical marijuana. Effective July 1st 2007, the updated law specified the qualifying conditions as: cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures and the chronic and debilitating effects of various treatments. Vermont’s medical marijuana law was further amended in June of 2011by the passing of SB17, which authorizes the creation of four state-licensed dispensaries.

Vermont Medical Marijuana Facts 2011:

  • Vermont patients and caregivers are allowed to possess no more than two ounces of usable cannabis and two mature plants. They may also have up to seven immature plants according to the 2007 amendment.
  • Vermont allows doctors licensed in other states (New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York) to recommend medical marijuana to Vermont residents.
  • The planned dispensaries are supposed to become operational by mid 2012 and will be able to provide medical cannabis for up to 1000 Vermont patients each.
  • An interesting fact about Vermont’s medical marijuana program is that data and statistics from the state’s marijuana registry are not readily available. The most current information states that as of 2009 there were only 107 patients in the state.
  • One unsavory fact about medical marijuana in Vermont is that the state’s mandatory medical marijuana registry is implemented and administered by the Vermont Criminal Information Center. This is the same department tasked with the state’s sex offender registry.
  • Individuals applying to receive a Vermont medical marijuana card must show that they have a “bona fide physician-patient relationship, defined by as a “treating or consulting relationship of not less than six months duration.”
  • The Department of Public Safety keeps all patient information confidential and only allows inquiries by law enforcement.
  • Caregivers in Vermont must be over 21 years old and have no drug related criminal convictions.

Vermont Marijuana Data: Newest Facts and Developments:

          Recently, current Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin declared that he believes federal law needs to be amended to allow the legal prescription of medical marijuana. He has signed an official request, along with the governors from Rhode Island and Washington, petitioning the federal government to move cannabis to Schedule II. "I think it's ludicrous that marijuana is put in the same category by the federal government as heroin and other drugs that are extraordinarily addictive," said the governor.