If you require marijuana to help you with a medical condition and live in Vermont, we have great news! On January 22, 2018, Governor Phil Scott signed legislation that makes recreational cannabis legal in Vermont. It is the ninth state (along with D.C.) to allow possession of recreational marijuana and the first to do so via legislation as every other state did so via a vote.
The new provisions of H.511 will allow people aged 21+ to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow a maximum of two mature, or four immature plants. However, the new law does not allow commercial cannabis sales and does not come into effect until July 1, 2018. If you are in severe pain and need medical marijuana now, you still have to get an Vermont MMJ card, and we outline the process below.
On May 19, 2004, medical marijuana was legalized in Vermont after Senate Bill 76 passed without the signature of Governor James Douglas. It was expanded via Senate Bill 7 without Douglas’ signature in June 2007 and Governor Peter Shumlin signed HB200 on June 6, 2013; a law which ensured that being caught in possession of one ounce or less was classified as a “civil infraction” only.
That’s not to say that Vermont doesn’t have severe penalties for possession or sale of large amounts:
For example, Possession of less than 2 oz. (first offence) is classed as a misdemeanour and can lead to 6 months of incarcenation (with a max fine of $500). While, possession of 10+ pounds carries a potential 15-year prison sentence and a whopping $500,000 fine.
Need a Medical Marijuana Card? Let us help by Starting Here
What Are the Medical Marijuana Vermont Eligibility Criterias?
First and foremost, there is a significant number of marijuana dispensaries in the state; you should be able to find one in up to 10 townships including Barre, Colchester, and Essex. To be eligible for an MMJ card in Vermont, you must suffer from a debilitating, severe, or life-threatening condition. Qualifying conditions include:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- A chronic debilitating disease that features symptoms such as seizures, cachexia, or chronic pain
Also, you must have a “bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” which means a treatment or consulting relationship for at least three months. During that period, the physician must have completed a detailed assessment of your medical history and medical condition; including a physical examination. You avoid the three months waiting period if you have one of the following conditions:
- A terminal illness
- If you are in hospice care
How Do I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Vermont?
You have to be a Vermont state resident, and you must provide proof of residency. The next step is to complete this application to register with the Vermont Marijuana Registry. It will take around 30 days for the application to be processed and it will cost $50.
Once you have fulfilled the 3-month criteria (if applicable), you need to obtain a medical verification form from a licensed physician. Interestingly, this doctor can be licensed to practice in New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, as well as in Vermont.
Contact a notary public and get your signature notarized. Create a digital photo of yourself in .jpg format and copy it to a CD along with your name and DOB. Once you have everything together, send it to the following address:
Vermont Marijuana Registry
Department of Public Safety
103 South Main Street
You will be notified in writing whether your application has been approved or denied. The denial letter will be accompanied by details on how to appeal.
What Happens When I Am Approved for a Vermont Medical Card?
Once you’re accepted, you receive a Marijuana Registry Identification Card and must register with the Vermont MMP Patient Registry. It is a mandatory requirement if you wish to receive protection under the state’s marijuana law. This will all change in a few months, but for now, you still have to follow the rules in place.
Once you have your card, you enjoy the following advantages:
- Access to a licensed dispensary
- Permission to store up to two ounces of marijuana
- The freedom to grow up to two mature plants and seven immature plants.
Renewing Your Vermont Medical Marijuana Card
Your medical marijuana card will last for one year; then you have to renew it. You will need to get a physician to re-certify you after 12 months, and if you have updated medical records, you have to provide them through the application process.
What About Caregivers?
Once you are a registered marijuana patient in Vermont, you can choose someone to be your ‘registered caregiver.’ This individual must be at least 21 years of age and is responsible for managing your well-being in relation to your marijuana use. You can’t pick someone who has been convicted of a drug-related crime. This caregiver can only serve one registered patient at a time.
Additional Information About Medical Marijuana in Vermont
- The state of Vermont only gives licenses to four dispensaries at a time, so there is a possibility that there isn’t one located close to your residence. If this is the case, your marijuana ID card enables you to grow marijuana plants; the maximum amounts are already outlined above.
- If you lose your card, contact the Vermont Registry at 802-241-5115 because there is no pre-defined process.
- Your caregiver is permitted to grow marijuana if you designate their address as the ‘grow location’ on the caregiver application.
- There are also possession and growth limits on cultivation facilities in the state of Vermont. A registered dispensary is allowed to cultivate marijuana but only to a maximum of 28 mature plants, 28 ounces of what is classified as ‘usable’ marijuana , and 98 immature plants.
For now, medical marijuana patients in Vermont must follow the above rules, but everything is set to change in the very near future. From July 1, 2018, Vermont residents will be allowed to purchase marijuana for recreational use. While this is obviously great news for weed lovers, it is also a boost for people who need it to manage the symptoms of chronic conditions as they no longer have to jump through legislative hoops.
Need a Medical Marijuana Card? Let us help by Starting Here