What's the Buzz? Cannabis in Vermont
On July 1, 2018, Vermont became the ninth state in the USA to legalize marijuana. What does that mean for travelers to the Green Mountain State? Well, as of research time, not much.
While Vermont's new pot law legalizes possession of up to an ounce, and allows Vermont residents to grow up to six plants (two flowering, four immature) per household, it does nothing to legalize the sale of cannabis. So until further notice, purchasing weed in Vermont remains illegal.
Plenty of other restrictions also remain in place. While you're allowed to possess up to an ounce, you're not allowed to smoke it in any public or federally administered place such as a post office or airport. And because pot remains illegal at the national level, you can't even smoke it on a private boat in Lake Champlain, because the lake is considered a federal waterway.
Other no-nos? Under no circumstances are you allowed to smoke cannabis in a motor vehicle, as the driver or even as a passenger. As for gifting marijuana, this remains a gray area, but bear in mind that there are extremely stiff penalties for providing marijuana to anyone under the age of 21, free or otherwise.
Bottom line? If you want to smoke pot in Vermont, make sure you're 21 or older, and do it in a friend's home. And if you want to score some weed for yourself, find a friend who will give you some; paying for it still places you in legal jeopardy.
As of this writing, plans for creating a regulated marijuana marketplace are still under consideration. Stay tuned! A great resource for keeping up with ongoing developments is the web page Cannabeat (www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/cannabeat), brought to you by Burlington's excellent newsweekly Seven Days.
Vermont Division of Tourism (www.vermontvacation.com) Maintains a fabulous Welcome Center on I-91 near the Massachusetts state line, one on VT 4A near the New York state line, and three others along I-89 between White River Junction and the Canadian border. Produces a free, detailed road map and camping guide.
Vermont Public Radio (www.vpr.net) Vermont's statewide public radio station features superb local programming, including Vermont Edition (weekdays at noon) for coverage of Vermont current events, and the quirky, information-packed Eye on the Sky weather forecast.
Vermont Ski Areas Association (www.skivermont.com) Helpful information for planning ski trips, as well as summer adventures at Vermont ski resorts.
Vermont Chamber of Commerce (www.visitvt.com) Distributes a wealth of information about the state.