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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Vermont [2021 Update]

On January 22, 2018, Governor Phil Scott signed legislation that made recreational cannabis legal in Vermont.

However, at the time of writing, residents of Vermont still can’t purchase recreational cannabis. It is a bizarre state of affairs, and it is unlikely that the state will permit sales in 2020. Therefore, your only recourse if you need cannabis for severe pain or another reason is to get a Vermont Medical Marijuana Card.

The state legalized MMJ on May 19, 2004, via Senate Bill 76. Initially, there were only a handful of medical conditions. However, the likes of Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have been added since. Though adult-use cannabis is legal, finding it is a problem.

Vermont is one of just 11 U.S. states (along with Washington D.C.) that allows for the possession of recreational marijuana.

You will also experience penalties for illegal possession, sale, purchase, or use. However, the state is more lenient than it was in the past. On June 6, 2013, Governor Peter Shumlin signed HB200. This legislation downgraded the possession of small amounts of weed (an ounce or less) from a criminal penalty to a “civil infraction.”

There are still penalties to consider. For example, a first offense possession of more than an ounce but less than two is a misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to six months of jail time (in addition to a maximum fine of $500).

Subsequent offenses between one and two ounces can result in a possible prison term of two years, as well as a maximum fine of $2,000. Possession of more than two ounces is a felony. It may result in a prison term of up to 15 years and a maximum fine of $500,000. This is certainly something you’ll want to avoid, so let’s see how you can get an MMJ card in Vermont.

Need a Medical Marijuana Card ?

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Vermont

Here are the necessary steps to apply for a medical marijuana card in Vermont. Only state residents who can provide proof of residency need apply.

Step 1 – Download the Registration Packet and Meet with a Physician

Visit the Vermont Marijuana Registry (VMR) website and download/print the complete Patient Registration Packet. Once completed, the Registry will process the application within 30 days. However, you can’t finish the process without the approval of a licensed physician.

Your doctor or other qualifying healthcare professional (see below for a list of qualifying providers) must complete the Healthcare Professional Verification Form. This document officially states that you have a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use.

Healthcare providers that are allowed to consult with you and complete the Verification Form include:

  • Licensed physicians (MD, DO)
  • Licensed naturopathic doctors (ND)
  • Certified physician assistants (PA)
  • Licensed advanced practice registered nurses (APRN)

Any of the above healthcare professionals licensed under “substantially equivalent provisions” in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York may legally complete the Healthcare Professional Verification Form on behalf of the patient.

Also, any patients who are diagnosed with PTSD must submit a completed Mental Health Care Provider Form to the VMR. This is in addition to their completed application packet.

Step 2 – Obtain a Digital Photo and Get Your Application Notarized

When you complete the Patient Registration Packet in its entirety, you must contact a notary public. This individual will get all of the signatures in the packet notarized. You’ll find that many doctor’s offices do this in-house.

Also, you need to provide a current digital photo of yourself and email it to the VMR. Alternatively, you can copy it to a CD and send it along with the rest of the application packet to the Vermont Marijuana Registry (see address below). The photo must be:

  • In color
  • A reflection of your current appearance and taken within the last six months
  • A clear image of ONLY you (not blurry, grainy, or fuzzy)
  • A full face-and-shoulder shot, with you, squarely facing the camera (no sunglasses or hats)

You can’t scan your driver’s license or any other photo ID. You must also avoid sending a photograph of a photo!

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Upload the digital (.jpg) image to your phone or a computer and email it to [email protected] Alternatively, upload it to a CD and mail it in along with the rest of your registration packet (see address below). To submit a photo via email, make sure to include all of the following information:

  • In the email subject line, put “Application Photo.”
  • Include your date of birth with your first and last name in the body of the email.
  • Attach your photo.

You will receive an e-mail verification receipt from VMR staff confirming acceptance of your photo. Here is the physical address where you send applications and pictures.

Vermont Department of Public Health

Marijuana Registry

45 State Drive

Waterbury, VT 05671-1300

**Also, please note that YOU MUST MAIL IN ALL REGISTRATION PACKETS. There is currently no option to apply online. **

Step 3 – Play the Waiting Game

The Registry will notify you in writing within 30 days of your application. If you receive a denial letter, it outlines how to appeal. If your application packet is accepted, you receive a Marijuana Registry Identification Card in the mail. You also get information on registering with the Vermont MMP Patient Registry. This process is a mandatory requirement. Otherwise, you don’t get the MMJ program’s protection.

If approved, your medical marijuana card in Vermont will last for one year. To renew, you will need to get a physician (or another qualifying healthcare provider) to re-certify you before this 12-month period ends. Otherwise, you have to restart the application process entirely.

The Registry will not remind you when it is time to renew your application. You are 100% responsible for keeping track of the expiration date.

What Are the Vermont Medical Marijuana Costs?

The application fee is $50. It is payable in the form of a check or money order. It also costs $50 to renew the card after 12 months and $50 per caregiver application. Please note that the program fee is non-refundable. You can expect to pay at least $200 for a consultation with a licensed physician.

What Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Vermont?

The current list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Vermont is as follows:

  • Any patient receiving hospice care
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Epilepsy, or other seizures
  • Chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • An illness or treatment that leads to severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms.

Also, you must have a “bona fide health care professional-patient relationship.” This means a treatment or consulting relationship with the physician approving you for at least three months.

During these three months, the physician must have completed a detailed assessment of your medical history and medical condition. This includes a physical examination. This rule doesn’t necessarily apply to patients under hospice care. It is a similar situation for patients diagnosed with cancer, terminal illness, or HIV/AIDS.

Other Information on the Vermont Medical Marijuana License Process

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about getting an MMJ card in Vermont:

What About Medical Marijuana Caregivers in Vermont?

Once you registered as a medical marijuana patient in Vermont, you can choose someone as your ‘caregiver.’ This individual must be at least 21 years of age. They are responsible for managing your well-being concerning your marijuana use. You can’t pick someone who has been convicted of a drug-related crime. This caregiver can only serve one registered patient at a time.

[For more information on registered caregivers in Vermont, visit this link. Also, be advised that they will have to submit a separate application packet to the VMR.]

Where Can I Buy Marijuana in Vermont as a Legal MMJ Patient?

At the time of writing, there only dispensaries in seven locations:

  • Champlain Valley Dispensary: In Burlington and South Burlington.
  • Vermont Patients Alliance: In Montpellier.
  • Grassroots Vermont: In Brandon.
  • PhytoCare Vermont: In Bennington.
  • Southern Vermont Wellness: In Brattleboro and Middlebury.
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There is a possibility that one isn’t located close to your residence. If this is the case, your marijuana ID card enables you to grow marijuana plants. If you want to change your chosen dispensary, you must complete the Cardholder Change/Request Form.

What Happens if I Lose My Card?

If you lose your card or need to make changes to the information on it, there is a $25 processing fee. Complete a Change of Information Form if you want to make changes to information on a Registry I.D. card.

Can My Caregiver Grow Marijuana for Me?

Your caregiver is permitted to grow marijuana. This is as long as you designate their address as the ‘grow location’ on the caregiver application.

What Are the Purchasing, Possession, and Growing Limits in Vermont?

MMJ patients in Vermont, or their caregivers, can possess up to two ounces of cannabis. They can also grow two mature cannabis plants and seven immature plants. Please note that you can only transport marijuana if it is out of public view in a locked container. Also, you can only use it in a private residence, such as your property.

The Best Outdoor Strains For Vermont

Vermont can be a difficult place to grow cannabis because of the colder climate as well as the overall shorter growing season. However, if you prepare correctly and grow the right types of strains, you can have a very successful growing season! In this article we will recommend types cannabis seeds that are great for the Vermont climate as well as give a few tips to grow bigger buds.

The Best Outdoor Strains For Vermont

Vermont has a unique climate, level of sunlight, and precipitation level which can make it difficult to grow cannabis if you are using the wrong types of strains. Some cannabis strains won’t grow effectively in colder climates or with lower level of sunlight. However, there are some strains that a resilient against colder temperatures which makes them a perfect option for growing in Vermont.

Below are the best outdoor strains for Vermont.

Strain THC % Indica/Sativa Yield (per square meter) Flowering Time
White Widow 16-20% Sativa 400-500g 8-9 Weeks
Northern Lights 20-30% Indica 300-400g 7-8 Weeks
Super Skunk 20-25% Indica 400-600g 8-9 Weeks
AK-47 16-25% Indica 400-600g 8-9 Weeks
Sour Diesel 18-22% Sativa 400-600g 8-9 Weeks

Recommended Cannabis Strains For Vermont

Tips For Growing Cannabis In Vermont

Vermont has a unique climate and differing growing characteristics compared to other locations around North America. It is best to use cannabis strains that have a proven record of growing success in Vermont.

Although it may be difficult, finding the best outdoor cannabis strain requires patience and extensive research. It’s best to spend at least a few weeks doing thorough research on outdoor strains, the growing equipment needed, and the process required for success.

When growing in Vermont, make sure you take into account the time of the year you are planning on growing, the level of sunlight during this time period, the amount of water you can expect, as well as the amount of nutrients currently in the soil.

Vermont Is A Colder Climate

Vermont has a much colder climate compared to many other locations in North America such as Florida or Virginia. This means that the best strains are suited for colder climates and are able to resist colder temperatures.

Growers in Vermont should consider growing an Indica strain as these tend to be hearty, and can better handle cooler temperatures compared to Sativa or even Hybrid strains which need ample heat and sunlight. If you prepare correctly, then you can have success with your grow. This may require more planning or an investment in higher quality growing equipment but there are a lot of growers who have a lot of success growing cannabis in Vermont.

The weather in Vermont can vary depending on what month your are planning on growing. For best results, you should avoid growing in the summer months when there are prolonged hot spells. The heat may harm your plants and leave them vulnerable to diseases or pests due to stress. You can still grow cannabis during this time but remember that it will take much longer for your plant’s buds to mature.

It is also recommended to avoid the cold winter months unless you have the proper equipment and setup necessary to deal with the cold weather. Vermont winters can go down to -20 Fahrenheit so it’s best not to grow in the winter if you don’t have a greenhouse.

Vermont Receives A Moderate Amount of Rain

The amount of rain in Vermont can vary based on the season you are growing in. The best time for outdoor cannabis is during the spring months or the autumn falls when the conditions are best. This means that Vermont receives a moderate amount of rain within those months. The amount of rain is perfect for most outdoor strains and you shouldn’t require any extra watering systems.

During the summer or winter months, it is possible that the amount of rain might be too little to grow cannabis effectively. This could impact the growth of your plants. If you are growing during the drier months, then you might need to think about adding a watering system or watering schedule.

Vermont Receives A Moderate Amount of Sunlight

Vermont doesn’t receive as much sunlight as other areas in North America but it receives a moderate amount of sunlight during the spring and summer seasons. The best outdoor strains for Vermont are those which need approximately 12 hours of sunlight per day.

You should be aware that if you choose to grow some cannabis during the winter months, then it will likely take more time than your average strain because you probably won’t receive as much direct sunlight. You might require a light system or supplemental lighting in order to grow the cannabis to its full capabilities.

Unique Soil Nutrient Levels In Vermont

The Vermont area also has a unique soil nutrient characteristics compared to other areas such as the Northeast or Michigan. The best outdoor cannabis strains for Vermont will be able to adapt well to the soil nutrient characteristics.

You should also consider that different temperature levels can provide varying growing conditions, so you’ll need to adjust your strain selection accordingly depending on whether you are in an area with warmer temperatures or colder ones. The list of outdoor strains that we recommended do a great job of interacting positively with a wide variety of different soil levels. This means they will grow well in Vermont but will also grow will in a variety of other locations around the world.

Acquiring seeds legally?

I've been living in the Northeast kingdom for a few years now. Haven't really used marijuana since college. No specific reason, just haven't really been around it. With a recent diagnosis of cancer, I wanted to start growing to counter some of the effects of treatment. I have no interest in going through the process of applying for a medical card due to costs for application and the marijuana itself.

I have plenty of land and a large basement I can set up for growing. Only problem is I have no clue where to find seeds. I know you can buy online but legality is a concern for me. I know recreational sale is also illegal but wasn't sure if seed sales were acceptable here.

Any info on the matter would be greatly appreciated!

So since cannabis seeds have less than .03%THC it's perfectly legal to purchase because all cannabis seeds are considered hemp seeds.

Most seedbanks will also these seeds are "Novelty items" These seedbanks I can personally vouch for in no specific order: neptuneseedbank,DCSeedexchange,treestarseedbank,harvestmutual, GLOseedbank(his ig is @therealflavorcreator, this dude has the most exotic collection imo but his website is pain to order from. After you order they'll email you an invoice to pay. ),seedsherenow

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