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Jenny Bloom

November 13, 2019

In the State of Vermont, marijuana is decriminalized to some extent. In fact, adults over 21 found in possession of small amounts of cannabis, concentrates or hash, or in possession of marijuana paraphernalia only receive civil penalties. The products must be for personal use only. The fines also do not come with jail time. And, the offenses are not reflected on the offenders’ criminal records.

Vermont has enacted a medical marijuana program. Under Chapter 86, the state’s Therapeutic Use of Cannabis program allows patients with qualifying conditions to obtain, possess, cultivate and use marijuana. Qualifying patients must register through Vermont Marijuana Registry (VMR). Those who don’t grow their own medical cannabis must obtain it from a state-licensed dispensary.

Possessing Marijuana in Vermont

Vermont lawmakers have made it a civil violation to possess small amounts of cannabis. Yet, it is still an offense. Marijuana possession charges are punishable as follows in this state:

weed possession vermont

  • Under 1 ounce (first offense) = Civil violation: $200 fine with no jail time in criminal record
  • Under 1 ounce (second offense) = Civil violation: $300 fine with no jail time in criminal record
  • Under 1 ounce (subsequent offense) = Civil violation: $500 fine with no jail time in criminal record
  • Between 1 to 2 ounces (first offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $500 fine and up to 6 months’ incarceration (possible deferred sentence)
  • Between 1 to 2 ounces (subsequent offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,000 fine and up to 2 years’ incarceration
  • Between 2 ounces to 1 pound = Felony: Up to $3,000 fine and up to 3 years’ incarceration
  • Between 1 to 10 pounds = Felony: Up to $100,000 fine and up to 5 years’ incarceration
  • Over 10 pounds = Felony: Up to $500,000 fine and up to 15 years’ incarceration

Concentrates & Hash

Vermont classifies concentrates and hash as cannabis. Therefore, it too is slightly decriminalized, as long as the offender is over 21 years old. Penalties for possessing these derivatives are as follows:

  • Under 5 grams (first offense) = Civil violation: Up to $200 fine, with no jail time and no criminal record
  • Under 5 grams (second offense) = Civil violation: Up to $300 fine, with no jail time and no criminal record
  • Under 5 grams (subsequent offense) = Civil violation: Up to $500 fine, with no jail time and no criminal record
  • Over 5 grams (first offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $500 fine and 6 months’ incarceration
  • Over 5 grams (first offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,000 fine and 2 years’ incarceration

Paraphernalia

In the State of Vermont, marijuana paraphernalia has also been decriminalized to a degree, as long as the offender is over 21 years old. Violators are penalized as follows:

  • First-time offenders = Civil offense: $200 fine, no jail time and no criminal record
  • Second-time offenders = Civil offense: $300 fine, no jail time and no criminal record
  • Third-time offenders = Civil offense: $500 fine, no jail time and no criminal record

Medical Marijuana

Vermont’s Therapeutic Use of Cannabis program allows medical marijuana patients to possess no more than two ounces of usable cannabis at one time. If the qualifying patient chooses not to participate in home cultivation, the medical cannabis must be obtained through a state-licensed dispensary.

Selling Marijuana in Vermont

Delivering or selling cannabis in Vermont is illegal. Offenders are punishable as follows:

  • Under ½ ounce = Misdemeanor: Up to $10,000 fine and/or up to 2 year’s incarceration
  • Between ½ ounce to 1 pound = Felony: Up to $100,000 fine and/or up to 5 years’ incarceration
  • Between 1 to 50 pounds = Felony: Up to $500,000 fine and up to 15 year’s incarceration
  • Over 50 pounds (considered trafficking) = Felony: Up to $1,000,000 fine and up to 30 years’ incarceration
  • To a minor = Felony: Up to $25,000 fine and up to 5 years’ incarceration

Paraphernalia

Selling Marijuana

Vermont considers it a crime to sell paraphernalia. Related crimes are punishable as follows:

  • Sells = Misdemeanor: Up to $1,000 fine and up to 1-year incarceration
  • To a minor = Up to $2,000 fine and up to 2 years’ incarceration

Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Vermont

Only qualifying patients participating in Vermont’s medical marijuana program may grow cannabis. All others are committing crimes punishable as follows:

  • Between 1 to 2 plants (first offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $500 fine and up to 6 months’ incarceration
  • Between 1 to 2 plants (subsequent offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,000 fine and up to 2 years’ incarceration
  • Between 3 to 10 plants = Felony: Up to $10,000 fine and up to 3 years’ incarceration
  • Between 11 to 25 plants = Felony: Up to $100,000 fine and up to 5 years’ incarceration
  • Over 25 plants = Felony: Up to $500,000 fine and up to 15 years’ incarceration
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana
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Vermont Hemp Law

In 2013, Vermont lawmakers passed Senate Bill 157. It allows qualified growers to be licensed by the state’s Secretary of Agriculture, Food, and Markets to cultivate hemp. The goal is to use industrial hemp as an agricultural crop. Hemp is defined as a variety of marijuana with contains under 1% THC, the ingredient in cannabis that causes euphoria.

Medical Marijuana

In this state, qualifying patients participating in the Vermont Therapeutic Use of Cannabis program may grow marijuana. These medical marijuana patients may cultivate no more than nine cannabis plants at any given time. No more than two of these plants are allowed to be mature.

Using Marijuana in Vermont

The only people authorized to use marijuana in Vermont legally are qualifying patients participating in the state’s medical cannabis program. Unless they cultivate their own, marijuana must be obtained from a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. In the State of Vermont, these dispensaries may lawfully deliver cannabis to these patient’s homes.

To participate in the Vermont’s medical cannabis program, patients must obtain a recommendation from a physician. This certifies that they suffer from one or more of the following qualifying conditions:

Using Marijuana

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Patients under hospice care
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • PTSD
  • Chronic, debilitating or severe pain

Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Vermont

Breaking  Marijuana Laws
Breaking Marijuana Laws – Image powered by Greenrushdaily.com

Vermont allows deferred sentences for first-time offenders found in possession of between 1-2 ounces of cannabis. This allows offenders to be placed on probation, instead of doing jail time. Once the probation is complete, the conviction will no longer be reflected on the offender’s criminal record.

Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]

1 Comments

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  1. By Ronnie Poplar

    ,09 Jan 2018
    Is this current? What about recent voting?

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