Updated on January 23, 2019.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in Vermont
On May 26, 2004, Governor James Douglas (R) allowed the “Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness,” to pass into law unsigned — effective July 01, 2004 — after Senate Bill 76 and House Bill 645 were approved. The law effectively removes all state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana, by patients in possession of a written letter from a physician stating that he or she may benefit from the medical use of marijuana for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.
What Ailments Qualify for Medical Cannabis in Vermont
Patients in Vermont diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under Vermont’s medical marijuana law:
How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Vermont
- Must reside in Vermont with a valid Driver’s License or Non-Driver ID.
- Must be diagnosed with a Qualifying Condition by a qualified health professional through an in-person examination that the patient has at least a six (6) month relationship. Qualified Healthcare professional must complete a full assessment of the patients medical history and current medical conditions, in addition to a personal physical examination.
- Vermont defines a qualified Health Care Professional as a:
- Physician (M.D. or D.O.)
- Physician Assistant (P.A. or PA-C)
- Naturopathic Physician (N.D.)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
- They must be licensed in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York or Massachusetts.
- Vermont does not require specialized training to evaluate patients to issue Medical Marijuana Recommendations.
- A Licensed Mental Health Care Provider is defined as a:
- Person licensed to practice medicine who is a specialist in Psychiatry.
- Clinical Social Worker
- Clinical Mental Health Counselor
- Patient must be twenty-one (21) years of age, or if under eighteen (18) years of age, two (2) Caregivers must be approved and registered.
- Must submit an Application to the Vermont Medical Registry (VMR) to receive a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (Registry Identification Card). Please follow the instructions in the Registration Packet with Checklist.
- There is a $50 Non-Refundable Fee for each application submitted for a Medical Marijuana Card in Vermont. (Registry Identification Card) There is a $25 processing fee for reissuing lost or stolen Medical Marijuana Cards (Registry Identification Card). Qualified Patients are also required to pay the non-refundable $50 application fee when renewing annually as well.
- Patients must also designate the Dispensary they wish to procure Medical Marijuana during the application process. Patients can only procure Medical Marijuana from the Dispensary they designate on their application. There are currently five (5) Dispensaries in Vermont that patients can choose from.
- Patients change their Designated Dispensary at any time bu completed a Change of Information Form. There is a $25 fee when submitting a Change of Information Form. A new Medical Marijuana Card will be reissued within ten (10) days of receiving the patients Change of Information Form.
- After receiving the Medical Marijuana Card (Registry Identification Card) a patient can posses no more than two (2) ounces of Usable Marijuana, two (2) Mature Medical Marijuana Plants and seven (7) Immature Medical Marijuana Plants.
Medical Marijuana Access in Vermont
Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
Vermont medical marijuana law allows qualified and registered patients or appointed primary caregivers, to cultivate and possess no more than twelve cannabis plants, and five ounces of usable medical marijuana.