Vermont officials enacted emergency rules this week to keep its medical cannabis program running.
On Monday, the state’s Cannabis Control Board voted in favour of the regulations, while discussing social equity measures and guidance around background checks.
The state’s medical cannabis law, Chapter 86 under the state’s health title, was repealed March 1 leaving patients and operators in limbo.
Officials on the board officially adopted rules 1 and 2 on Monday, which stipulate the licensing and regulation of cannabis operators, as well as Rule 3 on an emergency basis. The latter rule outlines the criteria for patients accessing cannabis for medical use.
Originally, Vermont legalized pot for medical purposes in 2004. Then in 2020, the state legalized adult-use of cannabis, which mandated the creation of the control board to develop a regulatory scheme. While possession was sanctioned immediately, a full market was slated to come online by October 2022.
Over that period of time, some of the state’s medical cannabis rules have become outdated.
A proposed bill introduced in January suggests a number of updates, which include loosening of qualification criteria for patients with PTSD, increasing the number of plants a registered patient or caregiver can grow and eliminating the annual renewal fee for patients with a qualifying condition other than chronic pain.
That bill also suggests delaying the implementation of new statutes from to July 1, instead of March 1.
According to the Battleboro Reformer, the emergency rules go into effect immediately, rather than after a typical 15-day wait.
Not all the specifics in the new patient rules are ironed out yet.
“Applicants may have to pay a fee in accordance with a fee schedule that the board will make readily accessible to the public,” reads the document.