Statehouse Headliners: Marijuana dealers find another sales loophole in new state law, prosecutors slow to act

By Guy Page

Earlier this week Headliners reported how Vermont marijuana dealers are getting around Act 86’s prohibition of marijuana sales by “giving away” marijuana as a freebie to anyone who “buys” a legal item or service at an exorbitantly high price.

Now there’s another new angle: “free” pot delivered to your door – but for a very high delivery price. WCAX reported 7/12: “We have noticed marijuana delivery services are already popping up online here in Vermont. One posting offers to ‘give away’ marijuana with a delivery fee that’s tied to how much you want and in line with black market prices.” VT Digger reports on 7/11 that a Burlington company will deliver $50 for an eighth of an ounce up to $320 for an ounce for “free” marijuana.

During the past legislative session, Sen. Richard Sears, supporter of commercial pot legislation, said he expects gifting will be treated as a crime. But so far, Vermont’s prosecutors have not indicated how they will address this obvious flouting of the spirit, if not the letter, of the “personal possession” law approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Phil Scott. VT Digger reported that the Chittenden County State’s Attorney said she was unavailable for comment. A spokesperson for VT Attorney General TJ Donovan said “we don’t have anyone with this expertise at this time.”

Vermonters who ask their legislators or county state’s attorneys about how they propose to address this loophole in the “personal possession” law are encouraged to report their responses to Headliners.

Trump tax cut provides $96 more per month for $50,000 salary

The 2018 federal tax cuts don’t get much attention in the Vermont State House, perhaps because so few leaders – even Republicans – wish to be heard publicly supporting the Trump administration that pushed Congress hard and successfully for the cuts. To find out just how much less federal income tax you are paying in 2018 compared to 2017, go to Calculator.net. Estimated monthly savings for a Vermonter earning a $50,000 paycheck: $96.21 per month. Calculated annually, the tax cuts deliver $1,154 for a $50,000 paycheck.

Vermont Climate Action Commission won’t urge carbon tax

The Vermont Climate Action Commission, appointed last year by Gov. Phil Scott, this week refrained from recommending a carbon tax in its latest analysis. A final report is due later this summer. Also, the Legislature authorized a $125,000 study on the economic implications of a carbon tax, due sometime in January. For more information on this proposed transfer of income from poorer, high-mileage driving, older-home owning rural residents to wealthier, newer-home, low-mileage driving residents of Chittenden County, keep reading State House Headliners. This issue won’t go away.

Vermont to postpone Vermont Yankee decision until federal government rules

The Vermont Public Utilities Commission announced July 6 it will postpone its final decision on the sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar until after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules. A PUC decision by Dec. 31 or early 2019 is expected.

Pesticide ingredient in Phish Food? Ben and Jerry’s targeted by environmental lawsuit

The Organic Consumers Association has filed a federal suit against Ben & Jerry’s owner Unilever, charging that several brands of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream contain glyphosate, an ingredient in the popular weed killer Round-up. It also alleges that the iconic ice cream maker buys milk from farms that do not meet adequate standards.

Michael Colby, president of Regeneration Vermont, said on the OCA website: “For decades, Ben & Jerry’s has been doing bad and feeling good about it. While they market it as ‘Caring Dairy,’ the cheap milk produced for Ben & Jerry’s relies upon factory-style farming practices, such as antibiotics use and animal confinement that contaminate the state’s waterways.”

VT Women’s Commission wants input from everyone on how to help women

The Vermont Commission on Women wants to hear from all Vermonters – not just women – about what needs aren’t being met for Vermont women and their ability to provide for themselves and their communities, and what can be done to help. To express your opinion call 800-851-1561, or click here.

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR
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3 thoughts on “Statehouse Headliners: Marijuana dealers find another sales loophole in new state law, prosecutors slow to act

  1. The prosecutors aren’t going to act in any rapid fashion since they wish to have Vermont befogged. Dullards are easy to sell on any wild socialist clown show.

  2. Just another exampe of these idiots in Montpelier leeping before they look. They were so wrapped up in enacting another piece of stupid legislation (Scott doesn’t get a pass on this either) they didn’t do due diligence by dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s.

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