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Letter: Adult Use Retail Sales – Regulate and Tax

Heady Vermont Staff
Heady Vermont Staff 30 Oct 2019

A Heady Vermont member, who shall be known as Nancy From Southern Vermont, forwarded us a letter she sent to a host of Vermont political leaders talking about her experience buying recreational cannabis at NETA in Northampton, MA. She also sent us some of their replies.

If you, dear reader, like Nancy From Southern Vermont, have any letters or opinions to share, send them along to info@headyvermont.com.

Meanwhile, enjoy the correspondence:

The Letter

Yesterday I made my first ever legal purchase of marijuana. 

I traveled to Northampton, MA to a medical marijuana dispensary that expanded to sell retail adult use “pot” and they are doing a booming business. I purchased from  NETA. Adult use info: https://netacare.org/adultuseinfo/ 

The line for medical use was short but the line for adult use was long, but very controlled. The parking lot was monitored by two police officers (mostly for traffic control-it appeared) and the clients moved through the line quickly. 

To me, adult use retail sales seem like a no brainer, win-win situation. 

When you get in line they check that you have an account, that you ordered ahead and that you have proper ID. They allow only a certain number inside at a time. 

You approach a cashier, they check ID again, then ring up your purchase. And you exit through the exit ONLY door so clients are monitored and moved one-way through the building. It was all very organized and professional. 

Adult use purchase is regulated to 3.5 g or 1 oz per day and taxed at 20% (I don’t believe they tax their medical use products). 

The product is packaged in a labeled prescription-type bottle with warnings and an analysis label. The user knows exactly what they are getting (unlike the uncertainty of purchasing on the street). 

I’m hoping that the legislators will get serious and take up and pass retail sale legislation in the next session. 

To me, adult use retail sales seem like a no brainer, win-win situation. 

I’m proud that Vermont passed a law legalizing the use and growth of marijuana but the state needs to take the next step and allow the regulated and taxed sale to adult users. 

I saw cars from many surrounding states in that Northampton parking lot (quite a number from the Green Mountain state) and I can only imagine the amount of tax revenue generated daily at this one facility. 

I’ve attached a photo of the products purchased and the receipt with the MA tax structure. I’m hoping that the legislators will get serious and take up and pass retail sale legislation in the next session. 

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you as you scope out the use and sale of state regulated “pot”. 

Thanks for your time,

Nancy

The Responses

Tim Ashe Vermont State Senator President Pro Tem:

Thanks for sharing this experience. You’ve described, in essence, the experience the Senate bill wants Vermonters to have… here in VT! 

Meg Polyte, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman’s Chief of Staff:

Dear Nancy, 

On behalf of Lt. Governor Zuckerman I want to thank you for sharing your observations and experience. I believe this is very important to help break down stigma and correct stereotypes around cannabis. I will pass this to the Lt. Governor. I do encourage you to send a similar message to the Governor so he can also hear your thoughts and experience. You can send it via this webpage: https://governor.vermont.gov/contact 

Regards, 

Meg

Alison H. Clarkson Vermont State Senator Windsor County District:

Dear Nancy – 

Thanks – that was very interesting. As you know, the Senate has passed tax and regulate at least 5 times. It is the House which is our challenge – and I think I hear rumblings that the wait may be over. But encouraging House members is where people’s efforts should be focused now. 

XX Alison 

 

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