Vermont on Monday became the ninth U.S. state that has legalized recreational marijuana after its Rep. Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill into law. However, cannabis sale continues to be prohibited.
“Today, with mixed emotions, I have signed H. 511,” Scott said in an official statement.
Unlike other states, Vermont is also the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative act and not a ballot initiative for those aged 21 and beyond.
“I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children.”
People in Vermont are now allowed the possession of 1 ounce and the cultivation of two mature plants on their private property.
However, “marijuana remains a controlled substance in Vermont and its sale is prohibited,” the governor emphasized. “Also, consumption of marijuana in public places is prohibited.”
Marijuana is also not allowed to be consumed “by operators and passengers in a motor vehicle.”
While marijuana sale is prohibited, Scott said he will begin considering “the wisdom of implementing a commercial “tax and regulate” system for an adult marijuana market.”
Scott is also looking “forward to the Marijuana Advisory Commission addressing the need to develop comprehensive education, prevention, and highway safety strategies.”
He further added:
“Schools, employers, municipalities, and landlords are also empowered to adopt policies and ordinances further restricting the cultivation and use.”
The news comes amid a tough crackdown on the growing marijuana legalization trend in the U.S. by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In early January after California’s cannabis legalization took effect, Sessions annulled an Obama-era policy that allowed states the freedom to operate their legalized marijuana businesses without any federal intervention.
After signing the bill into law, Scott wants the General Assembly to return back to addressing “significant issues faced by Vermonters in their daily lives.”