Cannabis in Vermont – What’s Legal and What’s Not?

Cannabis in Vermont - What's Legal and What's Not in VT?
Cannabis in Vermont - What's Legal and What's Not in VT?
Heady Vermont Staff 13 Jul 2022

What are the laws around possession, consumption and cultivation of cannabis in Vermont? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Whether you live and work here, or you’re just visiting, here are the basics of what you can grow, gift and have on your person.

Is weed legal in Vermont?

Yes! Adults age 21 and over may possess up to one ounce of cannabis, as well as two mature and four immature plants, for medical or adult recreational use. Using cannabis in public places remains illegal in VT.

Vermont has a medical marijuana program, though the number of registered medical patients has been on the decline since cannabis was legalized for personal possession and consumption in 2018.

Can I shop at a dispensary in Vermont yet?

Not just yet! Cannabis dispensaries licensed by the Vermont Cannabis Control Board may begin selling to adults 21 and over starting on October 1, 2022.

Want to find out what dispensaries will be opening up in Vermont this fall? Check out our Vermont cannabis directory!

Only medical marijuana patients may buy cannabis in Vermont as of this writing. Currently, only five medical cannabis dispensaries are in operation in the state.

According to statute, May 1 was the date that established medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont were allowed to begin selling adult use cannabis to adults 21 and over. However, most have indicated that they will wait until the fall of 2022 to open.

Where am I allowed to consume cannabis in Vermont?

Though Vermont legalized personal possession and cultivation in private, when it comes to consumption, your options are somewhat limited.

Consumption of cannabis in public is prohibited.

No person shall consume cannabis in a public place unless specifically authorized by law. 7 V.S.A. § 833

There are not yet any “lounges” and onsite consumption is not allowed at dispensaries. The Vermont Cannabis Control Board has recommended special event licensing for consideration, but that’s not likely to happen until at least 2023. So where can you consume and what are the rules?

Visiting Vermont

What about if you’re renting an AirBnB, or staying in a hotel? Ultimately, that’s up to the property owners. There are certainly plenty of pot-friendly rentals out there, especially since personal legalization passed in 2018, and that’s likely to ramp up significantly with the advent of the adult use market.

Living in Vermont

You are free to consume and possess cannabis in the privacy of your own home in accordance with the statues on personal possession.

If you rent in Vermont, landlords are permitted to ban or allow the consumption, possession, and growing of cannabis on your property.

(2) This section does not:… (E) prohibit a landlord from banning possession or use of cannabis in a lease agreement. 18 V.S.A. § 4230

If you have a rental subsidy from a housing authority, or if you have some other form of federally assisted rental subsidy, be careful! Cannabis remains classified (still) by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, meaning that federally subsidized tenants, even medical patients, are prohibited from using it on those properties.

Advocates and medical patients have argued that this disproportionately impacts the poor, disabled and elderly. Here’s a Seven Days article from 2018 specifically on cannabis, federally subsidized tenants and housing authorities.

What’s the possession limit for cannabis in Vermont?

The possession limit for cannabis is one ounce, though possession of 1-2 ounces of cannabis or 10 grams of hashish became a civil penalty starting in January of 2021. This is the amount that you may have outside of your home/residence – for example, in your car or out in a public area.

In January of 2021, adult cultivation in private of up to three mature cannabis plants or six immature cannabis plants also became a civil penalty.

What’s the penalty for being caught in Vermont with 1-2 ounces of pot or three mature/six immature plants?

(A) not more than $100.00 for a first offense;
(B) not more than $200.00 for a second offense; and
(C) not more than $500.00 for a third or subsequent offense.

What about more than that?

(2)(A) No person shall knowingly and unlawfully possess two ounces or more of cannabis or ten grams or more of hashish or more than three mature cannabis plants or six immature cannabis plants.

For a first offense under this subdivision (2), a person shall be provided the opportunity to participate in the Court Diversion Program unless the prosecutor states on the record why a referral to the Court Diversion Program would not serve the ends of justice. A person convicted of a first offense under this subdivision shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00, or both.

18 V.S.A. § 4230

Check out Vermont statute for the full and current language
on penalties for cannabis possession in Vermont.

How many cannabis plants can I grow at home?

As of July 1, 2018, adult cultivation in private of up to six cannabis plants (two mature and up to four immature) is no longer punishable by a criminal or civil penalty.

(2) Each dwelling unit shall be limited to two mature cannabis plants and four immature cannabis plants regardless of how many persons 21 years of age or older reside in the dwelling unit. 18 V.S.A. § 4230e

The plants must be on property lawfully in possession of the cultivator or with the written consent of the person in lawful possession of the property.

The plants must be in an enclosure that is screened from public view and is secure.

As of January 1, 2021, cultivation of up to three mature cannabis plants or six immature cannabis plants also became a civil penalty.

How much weed can I have at home?

Those who cultivate cannabis for their own personal use may possess at home the total quantity of their harvest. Essentially, this means there is no actual limit on what homeowners may possess in their residence.

(3) Any cannabis harvested from the plants allowed pursuant to this subsection shall not count toward the one-ounce possession limit in section 4230a of this title provided it is stored in an indoor facility on the property where the cannabis was cultivated and reasonable precautions are taken to prevent unauthorized access to the cannabis. 18 V.S.A. § 4230e

In Vermont, can you legally gift cannabis to friends?

Sure! Someone can technically give you up to one ounce of cannabis or five grams of hash.

(4) A person 21 years of age or older may dispense one ounce or less of cannabis or five grams or less of hashish to another person who is 21 years of age or older, provided that the dispensing is not advertised or promoted to the public. 18 V.S.A. § 4230

Are cannabis seeds legal to buy in Vermont?

Cannabis might be federally prohibited, but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in April of 2022 effectively acknowledged that marijuana seeds are generally uncontrolled and legal, regardless of how much THC might end up being produced in buds if those seeds were cultivated.

This statement has cannabis breeders fairly excited, and has the potential to break down transportation barriers between states, opening up the cannabis gene pool. However, the DEA’s acknowledgement is not the same things as federal legalization, and breeders should proceed with caution, according to legal experts.

Can I buy cannabis seeds in Vermont?

Yes! A number of local grow stores and breeders sell seeds. Check out our Cannabis Directory for Vermont grow shops local to you. There are also some more down-low local breeders on social media – follow us on Instagram where we often post about Vermont-bred genetics.

Can I apply for a cannabis license in Vermont?

As of this writing in July 202, applications are currently open for several tiers of Vermont cannabis licenses. Check out our Vermont cannabis licensing resources page for more information.

Where do we get this info?

Did you know? All Vermont statutes are available online. We’ve referenced and linked them above where cited.

Thanks for reading! 🙏🏽

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