A key panel of lawmakers in Vermont will meet on Wednesday to discuss a bill to tax and regulate marijuana that has already passed both the House and Senate in differing forms. The bicameral conference committee is one of the final steps in the process for the legislation, which has seen months of delays due to the coronavirus outbreak.
While Vermont legalized the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and cultivation of two plants in 2018, there is currently no regulatory system in place that allows for retail sales. A bill to establish such a program, S. 54, cleared both the House and Senate this session. Now the joint panel of six legislators must reconcile outstanding differences into a single bill that will go back to both chambers for final approval and then be sent to the governor’s desk.
The conference committee was appointed in March, but this week’s session will be their first meeting.
The chief of staff to House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D) told Marijuana Moment earlier this month that plans were in the works to have the panel meet to advance the legislation during a special session that’s convening this month and in September.