Yes, medical and adult use marijuana may be grown indoors and outdoors in Chittenden County. Regulated by the State of Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB), the home and commercial cultivation of marijuana is governed by regulations including Title 7 Chapter 33, Title 7 Chapter 35, Title 18 Chapter 84, CCB Rule 1, CCB Rule 2, and CCB Rule 3.
As of May 2023, Chittenden County has licensed cultivators in Essex, South Burlington, Colchester, Williston, Burlington, Jericho, Richmond, Charlotte, and Huntington. The CCB establishes license tiers depending on the plant canopy's total size for commercial cultivation. Outdoor cultivators may cultivate in a canopy of 1,000 to 37,500 square feet. Meanwhile, indoor cultivators may utilize a canopy of 1,000 to 25,000 square feet. Commercial cultivators may also be licensed as mixed cultivators if they cultivate marijuana indoors and outdoors. Local licensure may also be required if the cultivator plans to operate in a town with a local cannabis control commission. Cultivation areas must be adequately fenced and equipped with video and security surveillance systems. Cultivators must also comply with the state’s inventory tracking and laboratory testing systems, and only EPA-approved pesticides may be used. Cultivators are prohibited from conducting any form of marijuana extraction.
Limits for home cultivation differ for medical and adult-use marijuana. Chittenden County residents aged 21 and above may cultivate two mature and four immature marijuana plants, regardless of the number of adults per household. On the contrary, registered patients or caregivers may grow two mature and seven immature marijuana plants and possess up to two ounces of usable medical marijuana. Cultivation areas must be secured from unauthorized entries and appropriately screened from public view.
Licensed product manufacturers in Chittenden County operate in Essex, South Burlington, Colchester, Williston, Burlington, Hinesburg, and Richmond. These manufacturers are authorized to procure marijuana and marijuana products from licensed cultivators, wholesalers, integrated licensees, manufacturers, and dispensaries to process, package, and sell to other marijuana establishments.
Manufacturers are also licensed by tier, depending on the method of extraction used. Tier 1 manufacturers employ a solvent-free extraction and produce no more than $10,000 of marijuana products per year based on their total yearly sales. Tier 2 manufacturers also do not use solvent-based extraction, while Tier 3 manufacturers utilize all approved extraction methods, including solvents. Only mechanical extraction, water-based extraction, food-based extraction, and heat/pressure-based extraction may be used by Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturers.
Edibles, oils, tinctures, and other marijuana products manufacturers produce must be packaged and labeled appropriately. Products must not be appealing to persons below 21 years old and must not contain misleading statements. Packaging must be child-resistant and child-deterrent. Labels must include the package’s content, production date, expiration date, list of ingredients, and warning labels.
Yes. Chittenden County adult residents and medical marijuana patients may purchase flowers, pre-rolls, vapes, edibles, tinctures, concentrates, topicals, and accessories from licensed retailers in Burlington, Essex, and Winooski. The consumer must present a valid government-issued photo ID when entering dispensaries and before purchasing marijuana.
One ounce of marijuana may be dispensed to consumers per transaction. Based on the CCB, this purchase limit is equivalent to 28 grams of flower, 14 grams of concentrate, eight cartridges of a vape containing 1 gram of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per cartridge, or 168 packages of edibles containing 50 milligrams of THC per package.
Only the delivery of medical marijuana is legal in Chittenden County. According to CCB Rule 3, dispensaries may only transport and deliver medical marijuana in a secure, locked container during the dispensary’s operating hours. The identity of the medical marijuana patient or caregiver must be verified before and during delivery through their valid registry identification cards. The patient’s name and registry identification number, delivery personnel’s name and registry identification number, delivery date and time, and type and amount of marijuana delivered must be documented in every transaction.
Meanwhile, adult-use marijuana delivery remains unlawful in Chittenden County as of May 2023. Instead, consumers may personally visit dispensaries or place their orders online and pick up their orders in-store.
To qualify for the State of Vermont’s Medical Cannabis Program, Chittenden County residents must be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition: cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other medical conditions causing patients to experience wasting syndrome, chronic pain, severe nausea, or seizures.
Cannabis Control Board
Attn: Medical Program
89 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-7001
Application approval may take up to 30 days. Registry identification cards cost $50.00 and will be delivered to the provided mailing address once the application is approved. Chittenden County residents may send their inquiries regarding the program through email at CCB.Med@vermont.gov or call at 802-828-1010 ext. 2.
As stipulated in the February 2023 Vermont Cannabis Tax Guide, the state imposes a 14% excise tax on the retail sale of adult-use marijuana on top of the 6% sales tax and 1% local option tax. Chittenden County residents may pay around 20% to 21% tax when purchasing adult-use marijuana. For medical marijuana, the state only imposes a 6% sales tax.
Chittenden County allowed the medical and adult use of marijuana when Vermont legalized it in 2004 and 2018, respectively. Since then, the county has seen an increase in marijuana sales. According to records, the county's gross sales and use tax significantly increased from $5,559,888,283 in 2005 to $7,454,574,956 in 2022. Regarding statewide cannabis excise tax, Vermont recorded $0.35 Million in October 2022, which grew to $1.10 Million in March 2023.
The Chittenden County Sheriff’s Office has submitted the following data on the FBI Crime Data Explorer: arrests for marijuana possession offenses have remained at 1 in 2004 and 2016, while arrests for marijuana sales offenses remained at zero in 2004 and 2016. More data may be needed to conclude how the legalization of marijuana has affected crime rates in the county.
Statewide, arrests for marijuana possession offenses have decreased – 1,035 in 2004, 1,059 in 2010, 170 in 2016, and 99 in 2021. At the same time, arrests for marijuana sales offenses decreased from 80 in 2004, 114 in 2010, 42 in 2016, and 7 in 2021.