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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 7: Alcoholic Beverages, Cannabis, and Tobacco

Chapter 037: MEDICAL CANNABIS DISPENSARIES

  •  [Section 971 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 971. Intent; purpose

    (a) It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide a well-regulated system of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries for the purpose of providing cannabis, cannabis products, and related services to patients and caregivers who are registered on the Medical Cannabis Registry pursuant to chapter 35 of this title. Vermont first authorized dispensaries in 2011, and it is the intent of the General Assembly that dispensaries continue to provide unique goods and services to registered patients and caregivers for therapeutic purposes in a market that also allows cannabis establishments licensed pursuant to chapter 33 of this title.

    (b) A dispensary licensed pursuant to this chapter may engage in practices that are not permitted for a cannabis establishment. As such, a dispensary may:

    (1) be vertically integrated under one license;

    (2) sell tax-free cannabis and cannabis products to patients and caregivers;

    (3) deliver cannabis and cannabis products to patients and caregivers;

    (4) allow patients and caregivers to purchase cannabis and cannabis products without leaving their vehicles;

    (5) produce and sell cannabis and cannabis products that have a higher THC content than is permitted for a cannabis establishment;

    (6) produce and sell cannabis products that may not otherwise be permitted for a cannabis establishment, but that would be appropriate for use by a patient as determined by the Board through rulemaking; and

    (7) sell larger quantities of cannabis and cannabis products than is permitted for a cannabis establishment. (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)

  •  [Section 972 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 972. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Board" means the Cannabis Control Board.

    (2) "Cannabis" has the same meaning as provided in section 831 of this title.

    (3) "Cannabis product" has the same meaning as provided in section 831 of this title.

    (4) "Dispensary" means a business organization licensed under this chapter or 18 V.S.A. chapter 86.

    (5) "Registry" means the Vermont Medical Cannabis Registry. (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)

  •  [Section 973 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 973. Dispensary license

    (a) A dispensary licensed pursuant to this chapter may:

    (1) cultivate, package, label, test, and transport cannabis;

    (2) produce, package, label, test, and transport cannabis products;

    (3) sell and deliver cannabis and cannabis products to patients and caregivers registered under chapter 35 of this title;

    (4) acquire, purchase, or borrow cannabis, cannabis products, and services from another licensed Vermont medical cannabis dispensary or give, sell, or lend cannabis, cannabis products, and services to another licensed Vermont medical cannabis dispensary; and

    (5) purchase cannabis and cannabis products from a cannabis establishment licensed pursuant to chapter 33 of this title.

    (b)(1) The following records shall be exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act and shall be confidential:

    (A) any record in an application for a license relating to security, public safety, transportation, or trade secrets, including information provided in an operating plan pursuant to subdivision 881(a)(1)(B) of this title; and

    (B) any licensee record relating to security, public safety, transportation, trade secrets, or employees.

    (2) Notwithstanding 1 V.S.A. § 317(e), the Public Records Act exemption created in this subsection shall continue in effect and shall not be repealed through operation of 1 V.S.A. § 317(e). (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)

  •  [Section 974 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 974. Rulemaking

    (a)(1) The Board shall adopt rules to implement and administer this chapter. In adoption of rules, the Board shall strive for consistency with rules adopted for cannabis establishments pursuant to chapter 33 of this title where appropriate. No rule shall be more restrictive than any rule adopted by the Department of Public Safety pursuant to 18 V.S.A. chapter 86.

    (2) Rules shall include:

    (A) the form and content of license and renewal applications;

    (B) qualifications for licensure that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation of a dispensary, including:

    (i) a requirement to submit an operating plan, which shall include information concerning:

    (I) the type of business organization; the identity of its controlling owners and principals; and the identity of the controlling owners and principals of its affiliates; and

    (II) the sources, amount, and nature of its capital, assets, and financing; the identity of its financiers; and the identity of the controlling owners and principals of its financiers;

    (ii) a requirement to file an amendment to its operating plan in the event of a significant change in organization, operation, or financing; and

    (iii) the requirement for a fingerprint-based criminal history record check and regulatory record check pursuant to section 975 of this title;

    (C) oversight requirements, including provisions to ensure that a licensed establishment complies with State and federal regulatory requirements governing insurance, securities, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, and occupational health and safety;

    (D) facility inspection requirements and procedures;

    (E) records to be kept by licensees and the required availability of the records;

    (F) employment and training requirements;

    (G) security requirements, including any appropriate lighting, physical security, video, and alarm requirements;

    (H) health and safety requirements;

    (I) regulation of additives to cannabis and cannabis products, including those that are toxic or designed to make the product more addictive, more appealing to persons under 21 years of age, or to mislead consumers;

    (J) procedures for seed-to-sale traceability of cannabis, including any requirements for tracking software;

    (K) regulation of the storage and transportation of cannabis;

    (L) sanitary requirements;

    (M) procedures for the renewal of a license, which shall allow renewal applications to be submitted up to 90 days prior to the expiration of the cannabis establishment's license;

    (N) procedures for suspension and revocation of a license;

    (O) requirements for banking and financial transactions, including provisions to ensure that the Board, the Department of Financial Regulation, and financial institutions have access to relevant information concerning licensed establishments to comply with State and federal regulatory requirements;

    (P) disclosure or eligibility requirements for a financier, its owners and principals, and its affiliates, which may include:

    (i) requirements to disclose information to a licensed establishment, the Board, or the Department of Financial Regulation;

    (ii) a minimum age requirement and a requirement to conduct a background check for natural persons;

    (iii) requirements to ensure that a financier complies with applicable State and federal laws governing financial institutions, licensed lenders, and other financial service providers; and

    (iv) any other requirements, conditions, or limitations on the type or amount of loans or capital investments made by a financier or its affiliates, which the Board, in consultation with the Department of Financial Regulation, determines is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare;

    (Q) policies and procedures for conducting outreach and promoting participation in the regulated cannabis market by diverse groups of individuals, including those who have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition;

    (R) pesticides or classes of pesticides that may be used by cultivators, provided that any rules adopted under this subdivision shall comply with and shall be at least as stringent as the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets' Vermont Pesticide Control Regulations;

    (S) standards for indoor cultivation of cannabis;

    (T) procedures and standards for testing cannabis for contaminants, potency, and quality assurance and control;

    (U) labeling requirements for cannabis sold to retailers and integrated licensees, including health warnings developed in consultation with the Department of Health;

    (V) regulation of visits to the establishments, including the number of visitors allowed at any one time and record keeping concerning visitors;

    (W) requirements that cannabis products are labeled in a manner that states the number of servings of tetrahydrocannabinol in the product, measured in servings of a maximum of five milligrams per serving, except cannabis products that are not consumable, including topical preparations;

    (X) requirements that cannabis products are labeled with the date the product was manufactured, the date the product is best used by, the ingredients contained in the product, information on the length of time it typically takes for products to take effect, and appropriate warnings developed by the Board in consultation with the Department of Health;

    (Y) requirements that a cannabis product is clearly identifiable with a standard symbol adopted by the Board indicating that it contains cannabis;

    (Z) procedures and standards for testing cannabis products for contaminants, potency, and quality assurance and control;

    (AA) requirements for opaque, child-resistant packaging;

    (BB) requirements for verification of a customer's Registry status;

    (CC) restrictions that cannabis shall be stored behind a counter or other barrier to ensure a customer does not have direct access to the cannabis;

    (DD) requirements that if the dispensary sells hemp or hemp products, the hemp and hemp products are clearly labeled as such and displayed separately from cannabis and cannabis products;

    (EE) requirements for opaque, child-resistant packaging of cannabis and cannabis products at point of sale to customer;

    (FF) facility inspection requirements and procedures;

    (GG) procedures and standards for testing cannabis and cannabis products for contaminants, potency, and quality assurance and control;

    (HH) reporting requirements, including requirements for chain-of-custody record keeping; and

    (II) procedures for destruction of all cannabis and cannabis products samples.

    (b) The Board shall consult with other State agencies and departments as necessary in the development and adoption of rules where there is shared expertise and duties. (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)

  •  [Section 975 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 975. Criminal background record checks; applicants

    (a) The Board shall obtain from the Vermont Crime Information Center a copy of a license applicant's fingerprint-based Vermont criminal history records, out-of-state criminal history records, and criminal history records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    (b) The Board shall adopt rules that set forth standards for determining whether an applicant should be denied a medical cannabis dispensary license because of his or her criminal history record based on factors that demonstrate whether the applicant presently poses a threat to public safety or the proper functioning of the regulated market. Nonviolent drug offenses shall not automatically disqualify a candidate. (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)

  •  [Section 976 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 976. Dispensary identification card

    (a) Every owner, principal, and employee of a dispensary shall obtain an identification card issued by the Board.

    (b)(1) Prior to issuing the identification card, the Board shall obtain from the Vermont Crime Information Center a copy of the person's fingerprint-based Vermont criminal history records, out-of-state criminal history records, and criminal history records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    (2) The Board shall adopt rules that set forth standards for determining whether a person should be denied a medical cannabis dispensary identification card because his or her criminal history record based on factors that demonstrate whether the applicant presently poses a threat to public safety or the proper functioning of the regulated market. Nonviolent drug offenses shall not automatically disqualify a candidate.

    (c) Once an identification card application has been submitted, a person may serve as an employee of a dispensary pending the background check, provided the person is supervised in his or her duties by someone who is a cardholder. The Board shall issue a temporary permit to the person for this purpose, which shall expire upon the issuance of the identification card or disqualification of the person in accordance with this section.

    (d) An identification card shall expire one year after its issuance or upon the expiration of the dispensary's license, whichever occurs first. (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)

  •  [Section 977 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 977. Fees

    (a) The Board shall charge and collect the following fees for dispensaries:

    (1) application fees;

    (2) annual license fees; and

    (3) annual renewal fees.

    (b) Fees shall be deposited in the Cannabis Regulation Fund as provided in section 845 of this title. (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)

  • § 978. [Reserved for future use.]

  •  [Section 979 effective March 1, 2022.]

    § 979. Cultivation of cannabis; environmental and land use standards

    (a)(1) A dispensary shall not be regulated as "farming" under the Required Agricultural Practices, 6 V.S.A. chapter 215, or other State law, and cannabis produced from cultivation shall not be considered an agricultural product or agricultural crop for the purposes of 32 V.S.A. chapter 124, 32 V.S.A. § 9741, or other relevant State law.

    (2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, the cultivation of cannabis on agricultural land and the use of farm buildings to dry or process that cannabis shall not disqualify the land or buildings from the use value appraisal program or constitute "development" under 32 V.S.A. § 3752(5), provided that:

    (A) the agricultural land or farm building is enrolled in the use value appraisal program at the time cannabis cultivation commences;

    (B) the agricultural land or farm building is not transferred to another owner;

    (C) the cultivation, drying, or processing of cannabis is done by a license on 1,000 square feet or less of agricultural land; and

    (D) all other requirements under 32 V.S.A. chapter 124 continue to be met.

    (b) The cultivation, processing, and manufacturing of cannabis regulated under this chapter shall comply with all applicable State, federal, and local environmental, energy, or public health law, unless otherwise provided under this chapter.

    (c) A dispensary regulated under this chapter shall be subject to regulation under 24 V.S.A. chapter 117 as authorized by this chapter.

    (d)(1) The cultivation, processing, and manufacturing of cannabis regulated under this chapter shall comply with the following sections of the Required Agricultural Practices:

    (A) section 6, regarding conditions, restriction, and operating standards;

    (B) section 8, regarding groundwater quality and groundwater quality investigations; and

    (C) section 12, regarding subsurface tile drainage.

    (2) Application of or compliance with the Required Agricultural Practices under subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not be construed to provide a presumption of compliance with or exemption to any applicable State, federal, and local environmental, energy, public health, or land use law required under subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

    (e) Persons cultivating cannabis or handling pesticides for the purposes of the manufacture of cannabis products shall comply with the worker protection standard of 40 C.F.R. part 170. (Added 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 2022.)