A Vermont House of Representatives committee approved a bill last week that would create a system to tax and regulate commercial cannabis sales in the state. The measure, S. 54, was approved by the House Government Operations Committee on Thursday by a vote of 10-1.
The bill was passed by the Vermont Senate in February by a margin of 23-5.
S. 54 has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and is also expected to be considered by the Appropriations Committee before a floor vote, which must come before the end of the legislative session on Friday. Matt Simon, the New England political director for cannabis policy reform group the Marijuana Policy Project, urged members of the House to take swift action on the bill.
“We applaud the committee for advancing S. 54, and we urge the House to complete its work on S. 54 without delay,” Simon said in a press release. “Cannabis has been legal for adults in Vermont for the better part of a year, and it’s time for it to be regulated and taxed in order to protect public health and safety. This legislation reflects years of careful study and deliberation, and it proposes a thoughtful and measured approach to establishing a legal cannabis market. Most Vermonters support regulating the production and sale of cannabis, and they have waited long enough for lawmakers to develop such a system.