Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today issued Executive Order 15-17, establishing the Governor’s Marijuana Advisory Commission, charged with recommending a comprehensive approach to addressing health, safety, regulatory and infrastructure needs when considering legalized marijuana use. The commission and its three subcommittees will evaluate the experience of other states, credible research and available data to inform recommendations to the governor. A subcommittee on roadway safety will examine and present findings on drugged driving, and recommend appropriate measures to ensure roadway safety. A second subcommittee on education and prevention will focus on how best to measure impacts on public health and how to restrict access to marijuana by minors. Finally, the taxation and regulation subcommittee will be charged with finding a responsible approach to the sale and taxation of marijuana for recreational use, including assessing the structures for doing so, and resolving third-party liability issues such as banking, local zoning and insurance.
“As I’ve said before, I’m not philosophically opposed to eliminating the prohibition on recreational use by adults. However, I believe we have an obligation to learn from the experiences of other states, and have comprehensive education and highway safety protocols in place before moving to a fully taxed and regulated recreational-use marketplace,” Scott said. “We must ensure that any approach we take prioritizes public health and safety, particularly the health implications for our children, and the need to ensure safety on our roadways.”
In addition, as neighboring states legalize marijuana, and the discussion continues in Vermont, Scott said Vermont must take steps to educate our children, including informing them of the health risks, and establish clear roadway safety standards, even if Vermont opts not to legalize marijuana.
“We cannot ignore the fact that states around us have already legalized. This Commission is part of a more thoughtful, deliberative process to deal with an issue that impacts all of us,” Scott continued. “It’s critical that we get this right, including exploring costs and funding without diverting resources, learning from the experience of other states and preparing to fully address health and safety concerns. This Commission allows us to identify the best, most responsible path forward on this issue.”
The commission will be co-chaired by a bipartisan team, Tom Little and Jake Perkinson. Members will include:
- Two members appointed by the Senate Committee on Committees;
- Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House;
- Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets or designee;
- Commissioner of Public Safety or designee;
- Commissioner of Health or designee;
- Secretary of Commerce and Community Development or designee;
- Commissioner of Taxes or designee;
- The Attorney General or designee; and
- The Executive Director of the States’ Attorneys and Sheriffs, or designee.
The first Commission and subcommittee meetings will be called on or before October 1. The executive order directs the Commission to provide its first report to the Governor by January 15, 2018.
For more information, view Executive Order 15-17 at http://governor.vermont.gov/content/governors-marijuana-advisory-commission-executive-order-15-17.