According to news reports, the Vermont legislature is ready to advance S54 this month or next, to legalize cultivation and sales of marijuana in the state beginning in 2022. Versions of the bill have been approved by both chambers. The current regulatory situation in Vermont is unique, as marijuana possession has been legal since January 2018. Before heading to the governor for signature, the two chambers will have to work out their differences in bicameral committee.
Under the House version, an excise tax rate of 14 percent of retail value (and the state’s 6 percent general sales tax) would be imposed, whereas the Senate version would impose a 16 percent rate and allow for a local option of 2 percent. Under the Senate bill, recreational marijuana would be exempt from the general sales tax. Notably, the Senate proposal would also ban flower with more than 30 percent of THC and solids containing more than 60 percent of THC. That would make Vermont the only state to ban products exceeding certain THC levels.
If S54 passes, Vermont would follow the trend of taxing marijuana by retail price. (Alaska is the only state that does not tax marijuana by retail price; see the table below.) [Read more at Tax Foundation]