#vtpoli

Tim Ashe – Vermont Senate, Chittenden

The Senate, including in my time as Senate President, has passed a comprehensive tax and regulate system. I support this approach. We will continue to work with the House and the Governor to encourage them to see that the safest and most rational approach is a seed to sale system.

Heady Vermont Staff
Heady Vermont Staff 10 Aug 2018

What, in your mind, is the ideal structure for a functional legal Tax and Regulate system? How would you work with other branches of government to create this kind of system?

The Senate, including in my time as Senate President, has passed a comprehensive tax and regulate system. I support this approach. We will continue to work with the House and the Governor to encourage them to see that the safest and most rational approach is a seed to sale system.

How would you assess Vermont’s current medical marijuana program? How will you ensure that registered medical patients and caregivers have access to an abundance of high-quality cannabis products priced at or below market rates?
The Senate passed an expansion of the medical marijuana system in 2018 to allow more conditions to be eligible for the registry. Unfortunately the House did not agree to the changes. If elected I will try again in 2019. The simplest way to ensure patients receive below market price product is to exempt patients sales from any sales tax placed on the commercial market when it is established.
How will you ensure that people who’ve been disproportionately affected by prohibition (such as convicts and People Of Color) will have an equal opportunity to participate in Vermont’s legal cannabis industry? In particular, how will you work for statewide expungement of convictions for possession?
We have made positive strides allowing expungement for past offenses and will continue to review opportunities to do more.
How will you make sure that all Vermonters have equal access to joining the legal cannabis industry as small and startup businesses?
Allowing for a mix of producer sizes will democratize the market and give smaller businesses an opportunity to compete. We also need to make sure that licenses are not gobbled up by a small number of out-of-state companies.
Do you think state can sustain both a medical and a recreational program – or would you combine cannabis regulations into one system?
We should combine functions wherever possible (testing, labeling requirements, oversight, etc) but we need to maintain two systems to ensure that patients are not subject to tax on their products for a medical diagnosis.
If tax-and-regulate is passed, how would you prefer to allocate cannabis revenues? To the general fund or to specific causes? If specific, please share any proposals.
I would prefer that as much as possible be deposited in the General Fund.
Would you allow Vermont towns to enact temporary moratoriums or outright bans on legal cannabis businesses?
I am open to this, though I believe communities will be less likely to take such steps when they see that legal stores in other states can be integrated into the community with good regulation.

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