December 21, 2023 4 min read

In Vermont, the cannabis legal landscape has undergone notable changes, echoing the evolving patterns witnessed across the country. From stringent regulations to a more accepting approach to medical marijuana, Vermont's cannabis laws have evolved considerably. 

Let's explore the intricate framework of regulations, navigating through possession limits, cultivation guidelines, penalties, and the nuanced avenues for obtaining and sharing cannabis within the state.

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis is legal for recreational and medical use in Vermont. 
  • Medical patients can buy up to 2 ounces of cannabis products, while rec users can possess up to 1 ounce. 
  • There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces. 

Is Cannabis Legal in Vermont?

Cannabis oil and softgels, two forms of medical cannabis that may be available in Vermont cannabis dispensaries.

Cannabis is legal in Vermont, with medical legalization dating back to 2004 under S76. Recreational cannabis sales became legal in 2020 with the passing of S.54, with sales starting in October 2022 after a two-year setup phase. Now, the cannabis regulations for adults and medical patients are as follows:

Regulations for Adult Use

In Vermont, adults age 21 and up can:

  • buy up to 1 ounce of cannabis or its equivalents in various products per transaction from retailers.
    • Product equivalents include specific limits for flower, concentrates, vape cartridges, and edibles, each with varying potency caps.
  • Grow 2 mature and 4 immature plants per adult in a private enclosed space that is out of reach to those under 21. 
  • Possess cannabis harvested from private, home cultivation without possession limit as long as it is stored securely. 
  • Consume cannabis in private spaces. 
  • Gift one ounce or less of cannabis or five grams or less of concentrate to another person who is 21 years of age or older, as long as it is not advertised to the public and no money is exchanged. 
  • Travel with cannabis in a sealed container in an area of the vehicle that is inaccessible to passengers, such as in the trunk. 

Regulations for Medical Use

In Vermont, medical cannabis is legal for those with a medical card. There are still laws and limits to follow, including that medical card holders may:

  • Buy and possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis, including infused products, as approved by a physician
  • Grow up to 9 cannabis plants in their homes in a private space that is inaccessible to anyone under the age of 21
  • Travel with cannabis, within specified limits, in a vehicle as long as it is in a closed container that is in an area that’s out of reach to the passengers, such as in the trunk. 
  • Use cannabis if under the age of 21 with a doctor's recommendation. Users under 18 must designate a caregiver to purchase and administer cannabis. 
  • Consume cannabis in a private residence or approved medical facility. 

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Vermont

  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Medical conditions that produce one or more of the following:
    • cachexia/wasting syndrome
    • chronic pain
    • severe nausea
    • seizures

Vermont Cannabis Laws

  • 2004 - Legalization of Medical Cannabis (S76):Established a registry for patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate medical cannabis.
  • 2011 - Establishment of Medical Dispensaries: Allowed up to 4 dispensaries serving 1,000 registered patients, regulated by the Department of Public Safety.
  • 2014 - Patient Cap Elimination (S.247): Removed patient cap, permitted delivery, and allowed naturopaths to qualify for the registry.
  • 2013 -HB 200 - Decriminalization: Decriminalized possession of up to 1 ounce, penalized similarly to a traffic ticket.
  • 2016 -S.14 Medical Cannabis Expansion: Added glaucoma and chronic pain to qualifying conditions; reduced provider-patient relationship period.
  • 2017 -S.16 Medical Cannabis Access:Added Parkinson's disease, PTSD, Crohn's disease as qualifying conditions; increased dispensary numbers.
  • 2018 -Act 86 - Legalization of Possession: Eliminated penalties for adults possessing 1 ounce of marijuana and allowed cultivation of plants.
  • 2020 - Recreational Cannabis Sales (S.54): Legalized adult-use retail sales, requiring localities to opt in and emphasized support for small-scale and minority-owned businesses. Established the Cannabis Control Board.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Vermont

Here's a condensed list of cannabis penalties in Vermont:

Possession Penalties:

  • Possession of 1 – 2 ounces shifted from a misdemeanor to a civil penalty starting January 1, 2021.
  • Subsequent conviction for 1 – 2 ounces: Misdemeanor, max 2 years' imprisonment, $2,000 fine.
  • 2 ounces - 1 pound: Felony, max 3 years' imprisonment, $3,000 fine.
  • 1 pound - 10 pounds: Felony, max 5 years' imprisonment, $100,000 fine.
  • Over 10 pounds: Felony, max 15 years' imprisonment, $500,000 fine.

Sale Penalties:

  • Less than 1/2 ounce: Misdemeanor, max 2 years' imprisonment, $10,000 fine.
  • 1/2 ounce – 1 pound: Felony, max 5 years' imprisonment, $100,000 fine.
  • 1 pound – 50 pounds: Felony, max 15 years' imprisonment, $500,000 fine.
  • Over 50 pounds: Presumed trafficking, max 30 years' imprisonment, $1,000,000 fine.
  • Sale to a minor: Felony, max 5 years' imprisonment, $25,000 fine.

Cultivation Penalties:

  • 3-10 plants: Felony, max 3 years' imprisonment, $10,000 fine.
  • 11-25 plants: Felony, max 5 years' imprisonment, $100,000 fine.
  • Over 25 plants: Felony, max 15 years' imprisonment, $500,000 fine.
  • Cultivation of 3 plants (up to six immature plants) became a civil penalty on January 1, 2021.

Hash & Concentrates:

  • Possession of over 5 grams of hashish: Misdemeanor, max 6 months' imprisonment, $500 fine (first offense).
  • Subsequent offense: Max 2 years' imprisonment, $2000 fine.
  • Possession of 5-10 grams became a civil penalty on January 1, 2021.

Paraphernalia Penalties:

  • Possession by an adult: Civil fine ($200 first offense, $300 second offense, $500 third or more).
  • Misdemeanor, max 1 year imprisonment, $1,000 fine
  • Sale to a minor: Max 2 years' imprisonment, $2,000 fine.

Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives

Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. 

Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.

Vida Optima Delta-9-THC Gummies


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