The medical marijuana dispensaries that were allowed under a bill signed by Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin last spring are supposed to be up and running by this summer.

The new law allows for up to four medical marijuana dispensaries to open in the state, to be run as non-profit organizations.

Dispensaries will not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools and daycare centers and employees will have to undergo extensive background checks. Patients will have to make appointments and will only be allowed into the dispensaries one at a time – a seemingly unnecessary rule that will end up creating long wait times for patients and eventually lead to patients not being able to get appointments as the dispensaries are booked up.

Having said that, progress is progress.

State representative Jim Masland is trying to get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder added to the short list of qualifying ailments for medical marijuana in the state.

Another state showing progress in the face of federal pressure to back down. While not perfect, Vermont’s medical marijuana law allows access for patients that is lacking in states with no law at all. Small, positive steps forward toward the ultimate goal of keeping cannabis users out of jail.

Joe Klare

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