Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin signed Senate Bill 17 over the weekend, allowing the state four legal medical marijuana dispensaries!
“I’ve always been grateful that my registry card means I’m not a criminal, but until today that card has done nothing to give me relief from constant, everyday pain which is what this program is supposed to be about,” says Ian Rhein, who was shot while intervening in a domestic altercation 20 years ago and still has the bullet lodged in his back, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. “Finally, with this law, I’ll be able to use the card to obtain the medicine I need.”
Previously Vermont’s medical marijuana laws would allow licensed medical marijuana patients or caregivers the ability to grow their own weed, but made no provisions for disseminating marijuana. This new law will change all that by making weed more easily available to those who need it.
The four dispensaries must be organized as not-for-profit entities, must implement a sliding scale fee system and can’t be within 1,000 feet of a public or private school. They also must feature adequate security as well as be subject to inspection by the Vermont Department of Public Safety, who will also run the application process and conduct all the background checks on the people looking to open their own marijuana dispensary.
Once operational the dispensaries may legally acquire seeds and can house 55 immature plants and up to 35 mature plants at any one time. They also can have up to 80 ounces marijuana on site.
This encouraging news coincided with the bold news we reported earlier today, in between bong hits, that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, on Saturday, that he and the Justice Department will work with governors and state attorneys to clarify national medical marijuana laws soon. He went on to say, “My hope is that sometime in the not too distant future … it will be addressed.” Yep, and it’s our hope, as well as millions of others, that it’ll be addressed soon too. Anyhow, congrats to the Green Mountain State.