Updated on May 13, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The “Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness” was passed into law unsigned, on May 26, 2004, by Vermont Governor James Douglas (R), after both Senate Bill 76 and House Bill 645 were approved, with the General Assembly’s passing of Sec. 1. 18V.S.A. chapter 86.
The Act removed 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.
Senate Bill 00007, passed on May 30, 2007, amended the law, establishing the state’s requirement for a bonafide doctor-patient relationship, which is required to be established in no less than a six-month duration.
Senate Bill 17, passed on June 02, 2011, established “An Act Relating To Registering Four Nonprofit Organizations To Dispense Marijuana For Symptom Relief,” which provided a framework for registering up to four nonprofit marijuana dispensaries, for the state of Vermont.
The state of Vermont Department of Public Safety granted conditional approval to two medical marijuana dispensaries, on September 12, 2012, which officially opened to qualified patients, in June 2013.
As per Vermont regulation, registered patients and registered caregivers, may possess no more than two ounces of usable marijuana, and may collectively cultivate no more than two mature plants, and seven immature plants.
Sec. 1. 18V.S.A. chapter 86 — “Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness”
NO. 135. AN ACT RELATING TO MARIJUANA USE BY PERSONS WITH SEVERE ILLNESS. (S.76)
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. chapter 86 is amended to read:
CHAPTER 86. THERAPEUTIC USE OF CANNABIS
Subchapter 1. Research Program
§ 4471. CANNABIS THERAPEUTIC RESEARCH PROGRAM; ESTABLISHMENT; PARTICIPATION ***
Subchapter 2. Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness § 4472.
For the purposes of this subchapter:
(1) “Bona fide physician-patient relationship” means a treating or consulting relationship of not less than six months duration, in the course of which a physician has completed a full assessment of the registered patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination.
(2) “Debilitating medical condition” means:
(A) end of life care for cancer or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; or
(B) cancer, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, multiple sclerosis, or the treatment of these diseases or medical conditions if:
(i) the disease or condition or its treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms; and
(ii) in the context of the specific disease or condition, reasonable medical efforts have been made over a reasonable amount of time without success in relieving the symptoms.