CBD oil has become one of the hottest commodities in the health and wellness niche. However, sellers are not allowed to claim that it has therapeutic potential. It is illegal to say CBD treats, cures, or prevents any condition. Even so, millions of people worldwide claim it helps them manage the symptoms of numerous medical issues.
The legal status of CBD in many states is murky. The cannabinoid itself isn’t legal, but most locations allow the sale of products containing it. This is as long as the CBD comes from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.
One would expect clarity in the state of Vermont. After all, it now permits recreational cannabis, thanks to H.511. As it happens, CBD is legal in Vermont, but it only became official recently, and regulations aren’t necessarily straightforward. First, however, let’s see what the situation is regarding cannabis in the state.
Marijuana Law in Vermont
Vermont legalized MMJ in May 2004 after Senate Bill 76 passed without Governor James Douglas’ signature. The state further expanded the MMJ program in June 2007 with Senate Bill 7. Once again, Douglas refused to sign the law.
Governor Peter Shumlin signed HB 200 in June 2013. It decriminalized the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. It was becoming clear that Vermont was on the road to full legalization.
This scenario finally came to pass in January 2018 when the state became the first in America to legalize recreational marijuana via its Legislature. It was an amended version of a bill that Governor Phil Scott vetoed in 2017.
However, H.511 didn’t have any provisions for sales or revenue. A bill called S.54 went into effect in October 2020 and allowed for regulated sales of recreational cannabis. Governor Scott is struggling to appoint a marijuana regulatory panel to oversee the industry. This issue could delay Vermont’s rollout by up to 12 months.
The current timeline suggests that Vermont’s current cannabis dispensaries could begin selling adult-use marijuana in May 2022. New retail stores could begin opening in October 2022. However, the implementation delays mean that Vermont residents may need to wait until 2023 for adult-use cannabis.
However, the implementation delays mean that Vermont residents may need to wait until 2023 for adult-use cannabis.
Is CBD Legal in Vermont?
The answer is ‘yes,’ but it took the state a long time to confirm it. Vermont has permitted MMJ since 2004. However, until the passage of the Farm Bill in December 2018, CBD oil was technically not legal in the state! Before the groundbreaking piece of legislation, you needed an MMJ card to be 100% safe when buying CBD.
However, the latest edition of the Farm Bill helped hasten the formal legality of CBD and clarified Vermont hemp laws. According to Chapter 34, Title 6 of the Vermont Legislature, hemp and hemp-related products’ cultivation, processing, and commerce are now legal in the state. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VSA) oversees the state’s hemp program.
Today, CBD Vermont laws state that hemp and CBD products derived from the plant are legal. One issue is that the cannabinoid is subject to the 6% Vermont Sales and Use Tax. The sole exception is Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical product approved by the FDA.
Also, CBD is not exempt from this tax as a food ingredient, food, or dietary supplement. However, you don’t need to pay sales tax on CBD when it is part of a taxable meal.
Finally, you can only buy CBD derived from hemp with a THC content of below 0.3%. Interestingly, some stores in the state won’t sell CBD to anyone under the age of 21. All forms of CBD are legal, and there is no limit to the amount you can possess.
Vermont CBD Laws
One of the benefits of living in Vermont is knowing that you will generally get high-standard CBD. This is important because the cannabidiol market at present has a big problem with a lack of regulation in general. As it is not an FDA-approved substance, there are no federal rules. Indeed, the FDA continues to suggest that CBD isn’t safe.
It is up to each state to make its rules. Most don’t bother and allow low-quality CBD companies to increase. It is a little different in Vermont, thankfully. The Vermont hemp program’s regulations mean that CBD products derived from hemp in the state must meet specific labeling standards. All labels must include:
- A full list of ingredients in descending order of prominence
- The content’s quantity in measure, weight, or numerical count
- The product manufacturer’s name and mailing address
- The date of manufacture, process lot number, and expiration date
- A clear statement that the ingredients are derived from hemp
- The amount of all cannabinoids in the product by serving size
- A statement that the product contains THC if applicable
Remember, all of the above only relate to items derived from hemp cultivated in the state. If you are a resident and buy online, there is no guarantee that the product will have the same protections as CBD in Vermont.
Industrial Hemp in Vermont
You must register with the VSA if you’re interested in growing hemp. It is important to note that Vermont has allowed the growth of hemp since 2008. However, the VSA only saw a significant increase in applicants when the Farm Bill was passed.
There were approximately 460 hemp growers in Vermont in 2019. That figure more than doubled to 970 in 2020. However, many farmers lost money because of failed crops. This happened due to a lack of experience cultivating in Vermont’s climate. Also, some farmers grew the hemp successfully but were unable to secure a contract with a processor.
This resulted in an alarming decline in the amount of hemp cultivated in the state. In 2019, farmers grew over 4,700 acres of hemp in Vermont. In 2020, that figure plummeted to below 750 acres. With recreational marijuana sales beginning soon, one wonders if farmers in Vermont will bother registering for the hemp cultivation program in large numbers.
Final Thoughts on Whether CBD is Legal in Vermont
If you are a Vermont resident, you may come across signs that advertise CBD hemp seed oil. These are legal and nutritious offerings but don’t contain much CBD. This is because the seeds of the hemp plant contain minimal amounts of the cannabinoid. The highest concentrations of CBD in hemp are in the stem, leaves, stalk, and plant flowers.
Vermont residents are now permitted to sell and buy CBD products. However, these items are subject to the state’s Sales Tax. At present, Vermont has a thriving MMJ program but is still waiting for the recreational market to lift off. Adult-use sales are slated to begin in 2022. Until then, you’ll need an MMJ card if you want to sample high-THC products. Otherwise, you must stick with CBD.
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