Like Hawaii, the state of Vermont has had medical marijuana laws on the books for several years, but has left patients to either grow their own cannabis or buy it from illegal sources.
Also like Hawaii, Vermont is considering the creation of dispensary system this year. In fact a bill allowing the creation of such businesses has already been introduced into the state legislature and has passed the state Senate Government Operations Committee and is scheduled for a full Senate hearing sometime this week.
The bill, which was sponsored (in part) by Senator Richard Sears (D-Bennington) includes restrictions that make it fairly conservative, especially when compared to the systems in place in states like California. Among them is a requirement that patients have appointments in order to buy cannabis from dispensaries.
There would also be a limit on the number of dispensaries allowed in Vermont. While the current language in the bill calls for a maximum of two dispensaries, it will be raised to four on the recommendation of Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn.
The change would increase revenue to the state as well as make it easier for patients.