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Vermont House and Senate Reach Deal To Establish Retail Marijuana Market

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have reached a deal on legislation that would create a legal market for marijuana in Vermont.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have reached a deal on legislation that would create a legal market for marijuana in Vermont. 

Legislators signed off on a compromise proposal late Tuesday evening, after they came to an agreement on how the state would establish an advertisement policy for marijuana businesses—the largest sticking point in final negotiations. 

The bill, S.54, which would allow marijuana dispensaries to open up as soon as May 1, 2022, still needs to be approved again by the House and Senate.

But legislators are poised to send the bill to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk next week, where it faces uncertainty. 

Under the legislation, marijuana sales would be taxed at a combined 20% tax rate including a 14% excise tax and a 6% sales tax. 

In recent weeks, the House and Senate have worked to reach consensus on a variety of provisions in the bill surrounding roadside safety, consumer protections, and taxes.

“Most people will be upset by some parts and most people will be happy with some parts,” Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, said of the bill Wednesday morning.

“But overall it’s the result of compromise, and it’s not perfect,” said Sears, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The last major disagreement between the two chambers centered on whether marijuana businesses should be able to advertise their products.

Read: Full Story on VT Digger

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