Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Vermont: The Insurance Ramifications
It’s true, recreational marijuana is now legal in the state of Vermont. If this is news to you, we’ll catch you up on the details: though medical marijuana was legalized in 2004, it wasn’t until the first week of January 2018 that the Vermont House passed a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The bill allows for the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana. The bill also allows for people age 21 and older to be in possession of two mature or four immature marijuana plants.
Vermont is the first state to pass a recreational marijuana law completely through the legislative process rather than through ballot measure. The law won’t go into effect until July 1, 2018, so here are some clarifications to help you learn more about the details beforehand.
- There is no legal way to buy marijuana or seeds in Vermont. The laws around recreational marijuana in Vermont are strictly for personal, private use. Though you can gift marijuana to a friend and turn marijuana into edibles, it is still illegal to buy and sell within the state.
- Growing marijuana must be done in private. As we mentioned before, it is legal to possess two mature and four immature marijuana plants, for a total of six plants. Anyone growing marijuana must do so on their own private property. If you are renting your home or apartment, you must have written permission from the property owner and cannot display the growing to the public.
- Consuming marijuana must be done in private. Likewise, recreational consumption of marijuana must be done in private. It is still illegal to consume marijuana in public places like malls, schools, and workplaces.
- You still need to follow federal laws. The legalization of recreational marijuana only applies within the physical boundaries of Vermont. If you leave the state, you’ll need to follow the federal laws to avoid getting in trouble. Do not cross state lines with marijuana if you want to really be safe.
- Don’t smoke and drive. Marijuana cannot be consumed before or while operating a vehicle. This is true for drivers and passengers.
In short, the legalization of recreational marijuana is a small step toward open consumption of weed. The law takes away the criminalization of marijuana, but any consumption and growing must be done privately and only within the state boundaries. Though medical marijuana is sold by dispensaries within the state, you must have a medical marijuana card in order to buy from these locations. Take caution in where you purchase marijuana and seeds.
If you have more questions about the ramifications of this law or need help with insurance, head to Taylor-Moore Agency. We can answer any questions and get you the help you need.