Members of the Vermont House of Representatives gave initial approval today to legislation, Senate Bill 54, regulating the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana to adults.
Representatives decided 90 to 54 in favor of an amended version of the measure. A final vote is anticipated on Thursday.
A super-majority of Senators voted last year in favor of the bill. Members of the House and Senate are ultimately expected to reconcile the two versions of the bill in conference committee.
The legislation establishes rules and regulations governing a commercial cannabis industry in the state. The measure provides regulations for licensed producers and retailers, establishes tax rates on retail sales of cannabis products, and sets potency caps on specific products, such as concentrates.
In 2018, lawmakers approved legislation legalizing the personal possession and private cultivation of marijuana by those ages 21 and older. However, that law did not establish a structure for the retail production and sale of marijuana.
To date, only one state — Illinois — has taken legislative action to authorize adult-use cannabis sales.
It remains uncertain where Republican Gov. Phil Scott stands on the bill. In the past, he has expressed skepticism toward the notion of legalizing marijuana sales, but some insiders indicate that he has softened his stance in recent months.