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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 086 : THERAPEUTIC USE OF CANNABIS

Subchapter 002 : MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL SYMPTOM USE BY PERSONS WITH SEVERE ILLNESS

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 4474e)
  • § 4474e. Dispensaries; conditions of operation

    (a) A dispensary registered under this section may:

    (1) Acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, process, transfer, transport, supply, sell, and dispense marijuana, marijuana-infused products, and marijuana-related supplies and educational materials for or to a registered patient who has designated it as his or her dispensary and to his or her registered caregiver for the registered patient's use for symptom relief.

    (A) Marijuana-infused products shall include tinctures, oils, solvents, and edible or potable goods. Only the portion of any marijuana-infused product that is attributable to marijuana shall count toward the possession limits of the dispensary and the patient. The Department of Public Safety shall establish by rule the appropriate method to establish the weight of marijuana that is attributable to marijuana-infused products. A dispensary shall dispense marijuana-infused products in child-resistant packaging as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 1012.

    (B) Marijuana-related supplies shall include pipes, vaporizers, and other items classified as drug paraphernalia under chapter 89 of this title.

    (2)(A) Acquire marijuana seeds or parts of the marijuana plant capable of regeneration from or dispense them to registered patients or their caregivers or acquire them from another registered Vermont dispensary, provided that records are kept concerning the amount and the recipient.

    (B) Acquire, purchase, or borrow marijuana, marijuana-infused products, or services from another registered Vermont dispensary or give, sell, or lend marijuana, marijuana-infused products, or services to another registered Vermont dispensary, provided that records are kept concerning the product, the amount, and the recipient. Each Vermont dispensary is required to adhere to all possession limits pertaining to cultivation as determined by the number of patients designating that dispensary and may not transfer eligibility to another dispensary.

    (3)(A) Cultivate and possess at any one time up to 28 mature marijuana plants, 98 immature marijuana plants, and 28 ounces of usable marijuana. However, if a dispensary is designated by more than 14 registered patients, the dispensary may cultivate and possess at any one time two mature marijuana plants, seven immature plants, and four ounces of usable marijuana for every registered patient for which the dispensary serves as the designated dispensary.

    (B) Notwithstanding subdivision (A) of this subdivision, if a dispensary is designated by a registered patient under 18 years of age who qualifies for the registry because of seizures, the dispensary may apply to the Department for a waiver of the limits in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3) if additional capacity is necessary to develop and provide an adequate supply of a product for symptom relief for the patient. The Department shall have discretion whether to grant a waiver and limit the possession amounts in excess of subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3) in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to section 4474d of this title.

    (4) With approval from the Department and in accordance with patient delivery protocols set forth in rule, transport and transfer marijuana to a Vermont postsecondary academic institution for the purpose of research.

    (5) Acquire, possess, manufacture, process, transfer, transport, market, and test hemp provided by persons registered with the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets under 6 V.S.A. chapter 34 to grow or cultivate hemp.

    (b) A dispensary shall have a sliding-scale fee system that takes into account a registered patient's ability to pay.

    (c) A dispensary shall not be located within 1,000 feet of the property line of a preexisting public or private school or licensed or regulated child care facility.

    (d)(1) A dispensary shall implement appropriate security measures to deter and prevent the unauthorized entrance into areas containing marijuana and the theft of marijuana and shall ensure that each location has an operational security alarm system. All cultivation of marijuana shall take place in a secure, locked facility which is either indoors or outdoors, but not visible to the public and that can only be accessed by the owners, principals, financiers, and employees of the dispensary who have valid Registry identification cards. An outdoor facility is not required to have a roof, provided all other requirements are met. The Department shall perform an annual on-site assessment of each dispensary and may perform on-site assessments of a dispensary without limitation for the purpose of determining compliance with this subchapter and any rules adopted pursuant to this subchapter and may enter a dispensary at any time for such purpose. During an inspection, the Department may review the dispensary's confidential records, including its dispensing records, which shall track transactions according to registered patients' Registry identification numbers to protect their confidentiality.

    (2)(A) A registered patient or registered caregiver may obtain marijuana from the dispensary by appointment only.

    (B) A dispensary may deliver marijuana to a registered patient or registered caregiver. The marijuana shall be transported in a locked container.

    (3) The operating documents of a dispensary shall include procedures for the oversight of the dispensary and procedures to ensure accurate record-keeping.

    (4) A dispensary shall submit the results of a financial audit to the Department of Public Safety not later than 90 days after the end of the dispensary's first fiscal year, and every other year thereafter. The audit shall be conducted by an independent certified public accountant, and the costs of any such audit shall be borne by the dispensary. The Department may also periodically require, within its discretion, the audit of a dispensary's financial records by the Department.

    (5) A dispensary shall destroy or dispose of marijuana, marijuana-infused products, clones, seeds, parts of marijuana that are not usable for symptom relief or are beyond the possession limits provided by this subchapter, and marijuana-related supplies only in a manner approved by rules adopted by the Department of Public Safety.

    (e) A registered patient shall not consume marijuana for symptom relief on dispensary property.

    (f) A person may be denied the right to serve as an owner, principal, financier, or employee of a dispensary because of the person's criminal history record in accordance with section 4474g of this title and rules adopted by the Department of Public Safety pursuant to that section.

    (g)(1) A dispensary shall notify the Department within 10 days of when an owner, principal, financier, or employee ceases to be associated with or work at the dispensary. His or her Registry identification card shall be deemed null and void, and the person shall be liable for any penalties that may apply.

    (2) A dispensary shall notify the Department in writing of the name, address, and date of birth of any proposed new owner, principal, financier, or employee and shall submit a fee for a new Registry identification card before a new owner, principal, financier, or employee begins his or her official duties related to the dispensary and shall submit a complete set of fingerprints for each prospective owner, principal, financier, or employee who is a natural person.

    (h) A dispensary shall include a label on the packaging of all marijuana that is dispensed. The label shall:

    (1) Identify the particular strain of marijuana. Cannabis strains shall be either pure breeds or hybrid varieties of cannabis and shall reflect properties of the plant.

    (2) Identify the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in each single dose marijuana-infused edible or potable product.

    (3) Contain a statement to the effect that the State of Vermont does not attest to the medicinal value of cannabis.

    (i) Each dispensary shall develop, implement, and maintain on the premises employee policies and procedures to address the following requirements:

    (1) a job description or employment contract developed for all employees that includes duties, authority, responsibilities, qualification, and supervision;

    (2) training in and adherence to confidentiality laws; and

    (3) training for employees required by subsection (j) of this section.

    (j) Each dispensary shall maintain a personnel record for each employee that includes an application for employment and a record of any disciplinary action taken. Each dispensary shall provide each employee, at the time of his or her initial appointment, training in the following:

    (1) the proper use of security measures and controls that have been adopted; and

    (2) specific procedural instructions on how to respond to an emergency, including robbery or violent incident.

    (k)(1) No dispensary or owner, principal, or financier of a dispensary shall:

    (A) acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, transfer, transport, supply, sell, or dispense marijuana for any purpose except to assist a registered patient with the use of marijuana for symptom relief directly or through the qualifying patient's designated caregiver;

    (B) acquire usable marijuana or marijuana plants from any source other than registered dispensary owners, principals, financiers, or employees who cultivate marijuana in accordance with this subchapter;

    (C) dispense more than two ounces of usable marijuana to a registered patient directly or through the qualifying patient's registered caregiver during a 30-day period;

    (D) dispense an amount of usable marijuana to a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver that the owner, principal, financier, or employee knows would cause the recipient to possess more marijuana than is permitted under this subchapter;

    (E) dispense marijuana to a person other than a registered patient who has designated the dispensary to provide for his or her needs or other than the patient's registered caregiver.

    (2) A person found to have violated subdivision (1) of this subsection may no longer serve as an owner, principal, financier, or employee of any dispensary, and such person's Registry identification card shall be immediately revoked by the Department.

    (3) The board of a dispensary shall be required to report to the Department of Public Safety any information regarding a person who violates this section.

    (l)(1) A registered dispensary shall not be subject to the following, provided that it is in compliance with this subchapter:

    (A) prosecution for the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, transfer, transport, supply, sale, or dispensing of marijuana, marijuana-infused products, or marijuana-related supplies for symptom relief in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter and any rule adopted by the Department pursuant to this subchapter;

    (B) inspection and search, except pursuant to this subchapter or upon a search warrant issued by a court or judicial officer;

    (C) seizure of marijuana, marijuana-infused products, and marijuana-related supplies, except upon a valid order issued by a court;

    (D) imposition of any penalty or denial of any right or privilege, including imposition of a civil penalty or disciplinary action by an occupational or professional licensing board or entity, solely for acting in accordance with this subchapter to assist registered patients or registered caregivers.

    (2) No owner, principal, financier, or employee of a dispensary shall be subject to arrest, prosecution, search, seizure, or penalty in any manner or denial of any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by an occupational or professional licensing board or entity, solely for working for or with a dispensary to engage in acts permitted by this subchapter.

    (m) [Repealed.]

    (n) Nothing in this subchapter shall prevent a dispensary from acquiring, possessing, cultivating, manufacturing, transferring, transporting, supplying, selling, and dispensing hemp and hemp-infused products for symptom relief. "Hemp" shall have the same meaning as provided in 6 V.S.A. § 562. A dispensary shall not be required to comply with the provisions of 6 V.S.A. chapter 34. (Added 2011, No. 65, § 1, eff. June 2, 2011; amended 2011, No. 65, § 3c, eff. Jan. 31, 2012; 2013, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2015, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2017, No. 65, § 5; 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2018, No. 8 (Sp. Sess.), § 18, eff. June 28, 2018.)