Vermont, among the states that are planning to legalize cannabis, continues to make progress with marijuana legalization proposal.
The Vermont Senate’s finance committee approved a marijuana legalization bill on Friday, deciding upon a 25 percent tax and setting the legal possession limit at half an ounce.
Sen. Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden, had said the committee wanted to set a tax rate that would make marijuana cheap enough to compete with the existing black market, according to the Burlington Free Press.
The 6-1 vote, which came two weeks after a legalization bill cleared the legislative body’s judiciary committee, pushes the issue closer to a floor vote.
Judiciary’s version of the bill had drawn criticism from advocates when senators removed an option to allow homegrown pot. Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, chairman of the committee, had stated that the issue was a “line in the sand,” the newspaper reported.
The news comes as out-of-state money floods a 2016 Massachusetts ballot campaign “to regulate marijuana like alcohol.” The effort is backed by the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, which is also pursuing ballot initiatives in Maine, Nevada, Arizona and California.
Massachusetts continues its effort to roll out medical marijuana with dispensaries opening in Brookline and Lowell.