Vermont governor signs bill allowing medical-marijuana dispensaries

June 4th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »


Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law on Thursday that allows the establishment of up to four dispensaries to sell marijuana and marijuana-related products to patients registered in the state’s medical-marijuana program.

Vermont joins Maine and Rhode Island as the only New England states that have approved legislation to set up dispensaries to sell marijuana legally.

But the way the three states are moving forward is very different. In Rhode Island, Governor Chafee has refused to issue licenses to three dispensaries in Providence, Warwick and Portsmouth that the Health Department selected in April. He supports the medical-marijuana program, but he’s wary of a threat from Peter F. Neronha, the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, who delivered him a letter, saying that anyone affiliated with the three centers could be prosecuted on federal drug-trafficking charges.

The U.S. Attorneys in Maine and Vermont issued similar threats, but at least two dispensaries have opened in Maine and Vermont plans to have its centers open for business within a year.

Maine plans on eventually having eight dispensaries.

Bianca Slota, spokeswoman for Shumlin, said the governor does not minimize the threat from Tristram J. Coffin, the U.S. Attorney for Vermont, but he still feels that patients need safe places to buy marijuana to cope with medical ailments.

“Obviously, it gives us something to think about,” she said. “We are not brushing [Coffin’s letter] aside, but it’s going to be a year before the dispensaries open. We will have to see what happens at the federal

Article source: