Vermont became the first state to legalize cannabis through an act of legislation when Republican Governor Phil Scott signed Act 86 (Senate Bill 22) into law in early 2018, which took affect on July 1. While the law doesn't establish a regulatory framework for retail sales, it allows Vermont residents 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of the herb. Also, the law allows for the cultivation of up to two mature and four immature cannabis plants per household.
Senate Bill 76 (45 KB) -- Approved 22-7; House Bill 645 (41 KB) -- Approved 82-59
"Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness" (Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. chapter 86 (41 KB) passed by the General Assembly) Gov. James Douglas (R), allowed the act to pass into law unsigned on May 26, 2004
Effective: July 1, 2004
Amended: Senate Bill 00007 (65 KB)
Effective: May 30, 2007
Possession/Cultivation: No more than two mature marijuana plants, seven immature plants, and
two ounces of usable marijuana may be collectively possessed between the
registered patient and the patient’s registered caregiver.
Amended: Senate Bill 17 (100 KB) "An Act Relating To Registering Four Nonprofit Organizations To Dispense Marijuana For Symptom Relief"
Signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 2, 2011
On Sep. 12, 2012, the State of Vermont Department of Public Safety announced conditional approval (65 KB) of two medical marijuana dispensaries. In June 2013, two dispensaries opened in Vermont.
Department of Public Safety
103 South Main Street
Waterbury, Vermont 05671
VT Marijuana Registry Program
Vermont Statutes, Title 18, Section 4230, et seq.
Note: Senate Bill 22 was the legislation that ended the blanket prohibition on cannabis.
Adults 21 and older may legally possess up to 1 oz. of cannabis or 2 mature (plus 4 immature) plants.
Possession of 1 - 2 oz. or 3 mature (and/or 5-7 immature) plants:
- First offense: Opportunity to participate in the Court Diversion program; otherwise, up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
- Second and subsequent offenses: Up to 2 yrs. in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Possession of 2 oz. - 1 lb. of cannabis or 4-5 mature (and/or 8-11 immature) plants:
- Up to 3 yrs. in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of more than 1 lb. of cannabis or more than 12 mature (and/or 24 immature) plants:
- Up to 15 yrs. in prison and/or a find of up to $500,000.
Under 0.5 oz.: 2 yrs. and/or $10,000;
Half an ounce: 1 lb.: up to 5 yrs. and/or $100,000;
One lb. or more: up to 15 yrs. and/or $500,000;
Subsequent offenses: double penalties.
Fifty lbs. or more with intent to sell: up to 30 yrs. and/or $1 million.
Note: There is a permissive inference that possessing 50 lbs. or more constitutes intent to sell or distribute.
Individuals may not consume marijuana in a public place, such as the street, sidewalks, or public parks. Violations are penalized as follows:
First offense - fine of up to $100
Second offense - fine of up to $200
Third or subsequent offenses - fine of up to $500