Vermont has become the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana sales with an announcement from Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday that he will let a bill establishing a regulated cannabis market become law without his signature. State lawmakers approved the measure, Senate Bill 54, after a bicameral committee reached an agreement on sticking points in the legislation last month.
“This has been a top priority for the majority in the Legislature for four years, but their work is not complete. They must ensure equity in this new policy and prevent their priority from becoming a public health problem for current and future generations,” Scott announced in a statement on Wednesday. “For these reasons, I am allowing this bill to become law without my signature.”
Although S. 54 includes provisions called for by Scott including the right of local governments to approve commercial cannabis activity in their jurisdictions and funds for education and drug prevention programs, the governor called on lawmakers to address what he characterized as “deficiencies in the bill.”
“Their work is not done,” he said. “The Legislature needs to strengthen education and prevention—including banning marketing that appeals in any way to our kids—otherwise they are knowingly failing