Vermont has become the first state in history to legalize recreational marijuana via the state legislature and the ninth state overall to legalize it.
Under the new measure signed into law Monday by Gov. Phil Scott (R), adults age 21 and older can now possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to two mature and four immature cannabis plants.
The law also creates a committee to determine taxes and regulations.
Today’s news brings the number of states where recreational marijuana is legal to nine, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, California, Massachusetts and Maine.
“This is a milestone in the evolving politics of marijuana,” said Tom Angell, a legalization advocate who writes the Marijuana Moment newsletter.
However, the law does not allow legal sales of marijuana.
Scott said he signed the bill “with mixed emotions.”
In a letter to legislators, Scott said his veto of the earlier bill made clear “my reservations about a commercial system which depends on profit motive and market-driven demand for its growth.”
The Hill added:
Scott said he would veto any additional efforts to loosen restrictions or implement a legal retail market until legislators addressed highway safety, education efforts and prevention of youth consumption.
Kevin Sabet, who heads the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said the fact that the law does not allow a retail market represents a setback to the legalization movement.
“By signing this, the Governor essentially killed any chance of full legalization,” Sabet told The Hill in an email. “In so many ways, this is a big setback for the pot industry. Vermont will be off-limits to them for the foreseeable future.”
The Vermont law takes effect on July 1.