Update on Local Retail Cannabis

Update on Local Retail Cannabis

A petition to place the retail cannabis opt-in question on the ballot for Town Meeting 2022 was presented to the Town Clerk, but fell short of having 5 percent of registered voters. Regardless, on January 24, 2022 the Town Selectboard approved including the question on Australian ballots for Town Meeting 2022. The Village Board of Trustees has yet to decide whether to warn the question for Village Meeting 2022.

Background: Act 164 (passed in 2020) set a framework for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Vermont. Although rules being developed statewide Cannabis Control Board (details at https://ccb.vermont.gov/laws-rules-and-regulations) will mainly determine how cannabis operations are regulated, there are two main ways municipalities can have local control. First, retail sales of cannabis are only permitted in a municipality when it approves it through a vote of the majority of registered voters by Australian ballot at a duly warned and noticed public meeting. Secondly, municipalities may regulate all types of cannabis establishments through its zoning bylaws within the parameters of state law. The Town of Essex and Village of Essex Junction are separately considering both of these options within their jurisdictions.

MEETING INFORMATION

Do you have questions or concerns about this issue? Learn more and share your perspective at the upcoming community forum on Wednesday, February 16 at 6:00pm. Participation options include:

- In-person at the Town Offices (81 Main Street, Downstairs Conference Room, Essex Jct, VT 05452)

- From a computer or mobile device, use the meeting link: https://www.essexvt.org/1026/7981/Cannabis-Community-Forum-Teams-Link

- Call in with a phone to 802-377-3784 and use the conference ID 960 163 73#.

- Public wifi is available at the Essex municipal offices, libraries, and at hotspots mapped by the VT Public Service Dept: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/public-wifi-hotspots-vermont

More information (and a recording of the previous public forum) is available on the Town website at https://www.essexvt.org/1013/7980/Cannabis-in-the-Community

Can't make it to the meeting? Don't worry, a recording will be made available. Please direct all inquiries to Robin Pierce at (robin@ essexjunction.org) or (802) 878-6950.