The Vermont Senate Finance Committee approved legislation to legalize marijuana in Vermont.

The vote was 6 to 1.

According to the bill, it would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess
up to one ounce of marijuana and establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail  stores.

It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana.

“I want to thank the Senate Finance Committee for their work and Senator Tim Ashe for his leadership. Today’s vote builds upon the good work started by Senator Sears and the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said. “I am encouraged by the deliberate approach the Senate is taking on this issue, using the lessons learned from other states to craft a bill that is well thought out. We can take a smarter approach and I look forward to continuing to work to get a bill that ends the failed era of marijuana prohibition in Vermont.”


The bill now heads to the Senate Committee on Appropriations. It was approved by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on January 29.

If passed, the new law would not take effect until January 2018. The bill still has to pass the full Senate and House before heading to the  governor’s desk for signature.