On Town Meeting Day on March 1, 2022, voters in several Valley towns will vote on whether to authorize retail cannabis. Last year, several local towns’ ballots asked whether there was support for such a measure to gauge public interest prior to voting on whether to authorize retail cannabis this year.
Marijuana possession and cultivation became legal in Vermont on July 1, 2018. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 18 states. Last year, towns such as Montpelier, Waterbury and Burlington voted to allow retail sales of marijuana. Retail sales in towns that pass such measures are projected to begin in October 2022. In New England, Massachusetts and Maine already offer retail sales of marijuana. According to NBC News, states brought in $3 billion in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales in 2021.
The following measures will be included on these towns’ ballots:
ARTICLE 3: Shall the Town of Waitsfield permit the operation of cannabis retailers and integrated Licensees, subject to such municipal ordinance and regulation as the Town Select Board may lawfully adopt and implement?
Article 34: Shall the voters of the town of Moretown authorize cannabis retailers and integrated licensees in town pursuant to 7 V.S.A. §863?
Article 17: Shall the town authorize cannabis retailers in town pursuant to 7 V.S.A. § 863?
Duxbury passed a measure to allow retail cannabis last year. Warren will not include such a measure on its ballot this year.
The Valley Reporter asked on social media how people felt about this ballot measure.
“Unless we decide to go full puritan and shut down amazing breweries like Lawson’s and ban sales of alcohol at Mehuron’s, I see no reason to block the appropriately regulated sale of a natural, less dangerous substance like cannabis,” said one Twitter user.
“Seems like a pretty straight-forward call to make for those that still dabble in the ancient art of critical thinking … and considering alcohol attributable fatalities in Vermont are 300 on average ANNUALLY and 80k deaths attributed to alcohol nationally on annual average … and all compared to 0 deaths caused by cannabis in Vermont, the U.S., or the world globally … ever,” wrote a Facebook user.