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Some Vermont communities approve retail marijuana businesses

March 3, 2021 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — More than 20 Vermont communities have approved allowing retail marijuana businesses within their borders.

The Vermont Legislature legalized the sale of recreational marijuana starting next year, but cities and towns have to vote whether to allow sales in their communities.

Voters in a number of communities, including Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Montpelier, Vergennes, Waterbury and Winooski approved the measures in their town meetings Tuesday, WCAX-TV reported.

At least three communities have rejected cannabis sales.

Recreational marijuana has been legal in Vermont since 2018, but there has been no mechanism for the sale or taxation of the substance.

Approval by communities allows businesses to seek a state license to sell or cultivate cannabis, beginning in 2022. A state board would then review and approve license requests.

In other town meeting related news:

MAYORS REELECTED

The incumbent mayors of Burlington and Rutland both won reelection in Tuesday’s Town Meeting Day voting.

In Burlington, Democratic Mayor Miro Weinberger defeated his closest challenger, Max Tracy, a progressive and the president of the City Council, by less than 1% of the vote.

It was Weinberger’s closest margin of victory since he was elected to his first three-year term in 2012.

“Tonight’s results have shown us that we have hard work to do to forge a new consensus about where we go as a community on public safety, housing, racial justice and more,” Weinberger said. “I think we all agree with President Tracy that the goal of local government must be to create a Burlington that works for all. In the years ahead, I will continue to listen and work with the council and all Burlingtonians to find that new consensus and secure that progress.”

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Meanwhile, in the city of Rutland, Mayor David Allaire won a third, two-year term, finishing ahead of six challengers, the largest field in city’s history.

Allaire said he ran on his record and it carried him through.

“I think this reaffirms that people are satisfied with the way the city is going and my leadership,” he said.