Legislative Update: S.216, Flawed Update of Medical Cannabis

Vermont Statehouse Cannabis Regulation and Legalization bill
Kathryn Blume 13 Mar 2018

We recently rolled out an exciting partnership with NewGrassRoots. Their clever website allows advocacy groups to weigh in on legislation by allowing their members to record voice messages that are then emailed to lawmakers.

The NGR site tracks the number of messages sent and whether legislators opened the email and listened to the messages. Participants can amplify their efforts by emailing friends about the campaign and sharing their calls on social media.

New GrassRoots, every voice counts. Photo: Priscilla Du Preez

Signing up on NGR is easy, and the best thing about making calls for Heady Vermont’s campaigns is that you’re both helping improve Vermont’s cannabis laws and earning Heady volunteer points, which can get you, among other things, really great swag!

The legislation we’re focused on right now is S.216 — a medical cannabis bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The full text of the bill is available online, starting on page 26.

Our issue with the bill is that it reduces the number of plants medical patients can grow currently to the number that any adult will be able to grow come July. Right now, each registered medical patient or caregiver can grow **two mature and seven immature** plants.


**a previous version of this article listed four mature and fourteen immature plants as the per-patient limit**

An amendment being considered in S.216 would restrict each Vermont household to a maximum limit of either a medical patient’s two mature and seven immature plants, and two ounces; or the two mature and four immature plants and one ounce (not including harvested material) afforded all Vermont residents over the age of 21 as of July 1.

That would restrict the ability of medical patients, their caregivers and family, to ensure they have sufficient access to medicine they’re using to treat debilitating conditions.

Further, S. 216 would has language stating that, “A person may not cultivate marijuana pursuant to this section if a registered medical marijuana patient or caregiver cultivates marijuana in the same dwelling unit…”

That provision restricts Vermonters right to grow their legal two plants simply because they live with an individual that suffers from a debilitating medical condition.

Not are these provision unfair, but this amount of cannabis wouldn’t be enough for most medical patients. That would likely force patients to buy expensive and more limited varieties of cannabis products from dispensaries, or turn back to allopathic remedies such as opioid pain medications, which they have already found to be far less effective — and frequently addictive.

So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to:

  • Create an account with NewGrassRoots
  • Check out our campaign
  • Call your Senators and oppose S. 216
  • Share this with your friends

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact the Heady Team at [email protected].

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