Vermont House OKs deal on bill to allow marijuana sale, tax

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont House of Representatives has approved a deal on a bill that would allow for the legal sale of marijuana, as well as taxation on those sales.

The legislative conference committee report passed the House by a vote of 92-56 on Thursday, the Bennington Banner reported. It now heads to the state Senate, where a vote is expected next week.

House members of the conference committee had agreed to drop language that would have prevented advertising for cannabis-related businesses. They also gave up their insistence upon seat belt use becoming a primary reason for motor vehicle stops as part of the legislation.

Senators on the committee agreed to a House proposal collecting fees from cannabis licensees and distributing proceeds to towns hosting such entities. They also agreed to a roadside saliva test, obtained with a warrant.

Gov. Phil Scott has made roadside testing a condition for signing a bill.

The bill establishes a 14% excise tax on cannabis products. Of that, 30% is earmarked for substance abuse prevention. The bill also extends the 6% sales tax to cannabis products.

The possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana was legalized in 2018, but there has been no way to buy or sell it legally or tax sales.