Town of Rutland to draft cannabis ballot article

Heady Vermont Staff 3 Sep 2021

RUTLAND — Rutland Town voters will likely get to decide whether or not to allow retail sales of cannabis products come 2022 Town Meeting Day.

The Select Board voted 4-0 Tuesday to direct Town Attorney Kevin Brown to draft a ballot article asking whether voters will allow such sales.

There was little debate among board members about having the article drafted and sending the question to voters. All members but Joe Denardo were present.

Selectman John Paul Faignant had requested the item come up for discussion at a previous meeting, allowing Bill Sweet, administrative assistant to the Select Board, to research the matter with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. Sweet said he had supplied each board member with part of the VLCT newsletter addressing the issue.

Under Vermont law, towns have to actively vote to allow cannabis sales within their borders. So far, some of the towns that have done so include Burlington, Montpelier, St. Johnsbury, Brattleboro, Bennington, Middlebury, Brandon, Salisbury, Vergennes, Pawlet, Randolph, Waterbury, Berlin, Danby, Brownington, Danville, Barton, Waitsfield, Barton, Sutton, Windsor, Strafford, Burk and Duxbury.

The Cannabis Control Board, established to set rules around such sales, was formed this year and met for the first time in May. The three-person board is due to deliver a key report on licensing fees and quantities early next month.

In mid-August, the Rutland City Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to send a similar question about retail cannabis to its Charter and Ordinance committees.

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