This bill was introduced for the first time on March 9, 2021 by Representatives Cina of Burlington, Christie of Hartford, Colston of Winooski, and Vyhovsky of Essex, and is currently sitting in the Committee on Government Operations.
This bill proposes to require reduced cannabis establishment license fees for social equity applicants; establish the Cannabis Business Development Fund to provide low-interest rate loans and grants to social equity applicants to pay for ordinary and necessary expenses to start and operate a licensed cannabis establishment; establish the Community Social Equity Program; and permit existing licensed cannabis dispensaries to begin selling cannabis and cannabis products in the fall of 2021 upon payment of substantial fees to support social equity programs.
Here is a summary of the provisions that are included in Vermont H. 414 as introduced:
Require Reduced Cannabis Establishment License Fees for Social Equity Applicants
Establish the Cannabis Business Development Fund
- The Fund shall comprise:
- (1) fees collected from integrated licensees
- (2) $200,000.00 transferred from the Cannabis Registration Fee Fund
- (3) 10 percent of the revenues raised by the cannabis excise tax imposed, not to exceed $2,000,000.00 per fiscal year
- The Fund shall be exclusively used for:
- (1) to provide low-interest rate loans and grants to social equity applicants to pay for ordinary and necessary expenses to start and operate a licensed cannabis establishment;
- (2) to compensate the Cannabis Control Board for any costs related to the provision of low-interest loans and grants to qualified social equity applicants;
- (3) to pay for outreach that may be provided or targeted to attract and 2 support social equity applicants;
- (4) to conduct any study or research concerning the participation of 4 minorities, women, veterans, or people with disabilities in the cannabis 5 industry, including barriers to such individuals entering the industry as equity owners of licensed cannabis establishments; and
- (5) to assist with job training and technical assistance for residents in 8 disproportionately impacted areas.
Establish the Community Social Equity Program
- The Community Social Equity Program is created for the following purposes:
- (1) to directly address the impact of economic disinvestment, violence, and the historical overuse of criminal justice responses to community and individual needs by providing resources to support local design and control of community-based responses to these impacts;
- (2) to substantially reduce the total amount of concentrated poverty in Vermont;
- (3) to protect communities from domestic violence through targeted 11 investments and intervention programs, including economic growth and 12 improving family violence prevention, community trauma treatment rates, gun injury victim services, and public health prevention activities; and
- (4) to promote employment infrastructure and capacity building related to the social determinants of health in the eligible community areas.
- The bill also proposes creating a Community Social Equity Program Board.
Permit Existing Licensed Dispensaries to Begin Selling Cannabis in the Fall of 2021
- Notwithstanding provisions in 18 V.S.A. chapter 86 to the contrary, on August 1, 2021, a registered dispensary may apply to the Department of Public Safety to sell cannabis and cannabis products to individuals who are 21 years of age or older who are not registered patients or caregivers. The Department shall act on the application within 30 days and issue a conditional six-month license to the dispensary to sell cannabis and cannabis products to individuals who are 21 years of age or older who are not registered patients or caregivers.
Summary of Vermont H. 414 as introduced.
More Vermont cannabis laws and licensing resources.