Saturday, April 13, 2024

Vermont’s Recreational Workarounds Get Nixed

Vermont became the ninth state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults on July 1. The rules, however, are a little murky and there is no current method of legally purchasing recreational cannabis at this time.

In a brilliant workaround, entrepreneurs came up with sliding scale delivery fees with free marijuana attached to them; t-shirts and bracelets were sold with the free green gift attached and other such methods of transferring cannabis from producer to consumer were invented.

Unfortunately, Vermont’s Attorney General announced on Monday that such transactions remain illegal and must be halted immediately. Though there have been no reports of busts on the mistaken businesses, anybody who is convicted for the selling of cannabis in Vermont will face jail or prison time and fines.

Cannabis rules and regulations vary from state to state, but Vermont is the first state to legalize cannabis through legislation, rather than have it voted in by the people. It was a popular decision, but there remain quite a few kinks to be worked out. Likely in court cases that cover all those aspects of the law that are yet a little fuzzy.

There was no word on if someone could pay a grower their electricity and overhead growing costs in exchange for gifted pot, but I’ll take a wild stab and guess that it would also be forbidden. The good news is that residents who are able can grow their own, albeit in a “secure garden,” which isn’t outlined much further than that, can do so, thereby eliminating the problem once they’ve flipped their grow for the first time.

Another confusing aspect to the law is the one ounce limit on cannabis and what that means for edibles, which usually weigh more than an ounce. Will other ingredients be taken into consideration? Will edibles be the possession that puts people back into the system of which the law is trying to free them?

Even with all the remaining questions and wondering about how to make a functioning, safe marijuana market in Vermont, the fact that they legalized and did it their way is a testament to where we are in the fight to legalize. We’re winning, but sometimes it’s going to take baby steps and missteps to get exactly where we want to go.


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