You might know about some high-profile changes to marijuana laws. A growing number of states -- including Vermont -- have legalized marijuana for personal use while others have reduced drug crime punishments. These changes are a noteworthy trend, but many other states and the federal government still prohibit possessing, growing, selling, and trafficking marijuana. Knowing the law where you live can be critical. Here’s a quick overview of the Green Mountain State’s current marijuana laws.
Vermont Marijuana Legalization
Vermont became the first state to legalize cannabis through an act of legislation when Republican Governor Phil Scott signed Act 86 (Senate Bill 22) into law in early 2018, which took affect on July 1. While the law doesn't establish a regulatory framework for retail sales, it allows Vermont residents 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of the herb. Also, the law allows for the cultivation of up to two mature and four immature cannabis plants per household.
People under the age of 21 face fines and driver's license revocation for possession of marijuana.
An Overview of Vermont Marijuana Laws
When you have a legal question getting to the right law is an important first step. However, once you find the statute that applies, you could end up spending more time than you planned sifting through the legalese. Let FindLaw help with our state law summary tables, such as the table below which addresses Vermont's marijuana laws.
Vermont Statutes, Title 18, Section 4230, et seq.
Note: Senate Bill 22 was the legislation that ended the blanket prohibition on cannabis.
Adults 21 and older may legally possess up to 1 oz. of cannabis or 2 mature (plus 4 immature) plants.
Possession of 1 - 2 oz. or 3 mature (and/or 5-7 immature) plants:
- First offense: Opportunity to participate in the Court Diversion program; otherwise, up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
- Second and subsequent offenses: Up to 2 yrs. in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Possession of 2 oz. - 1 lb. of cannabis or 4-5 mature (and/or 8-11 immature) plants:
- Up to 3 yrs. in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of more than 1 lb. of cannabis or more than 12 mature (and/or 24 immature) plants:
- Up to 15 yrs. in prison and/or a find of up to $500,000.
Under 0.5 oz.: 2 yrs. and/or $10,000;
Half an ounce: 1 lb.: up to 5 yrs. and/or $100,000;
One lb. or more: up to 15 yrs. and/or $500,000;
Subsequent offenses: double penalties.
Fifty lbs. or more with intent to sell: up to 30 yrs. and/or $1 million.
Note: There is a permissive inference that possessing 50 lbs. or more constitutes intent to sell or distribute.
Individuals may not consume marijuana in a public place, such as the street, sidewalks, or public parks. Violations are penalized as follows:
First offense - fine of up to $100
Second offense - fine of up to $200
Third or subsequent offenses - fine of up to $500
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Related Resources for Marijuana Laws
You can find more general information on state marijuana laws and drug crimes on these pages. Since this is a fast-changing area of law, keeping track of changes in Vermont marijuana laws may be worthwhile. For more information specific to a particular case, consider speaking with a local criminal law attorney.