Legal pot market bill moves forward despite governor's concerns

Published: Feb. 6, 2020 at 5:08 PM EST
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Vermont lawmakers are hashing out a bill for a legal marijuana market. It passed through an important committee despite concerns from Gov. Phil Scott.

It cleared the House Ways and Means Committee this week and could be before the full House as early as next week.

Lawmakers advanced the bill with a 20% sales tax rate on marijuana. That's a consistent rate with surrounding states.

But amid the bill's progress, the governor is still concerned with some parts of the plan, mostly roadway safety. He says he wants law enforcement to be able to take roadside saliva tests from drivers suspected to be driving high without a warrant.

"It sounds as though they're moving in the right direction but, again, I didn't foresee any court warrant of any sort. This was a roadside saliva test," said Scott, R-Vermont.

Scott also says that if in the final bill law enforcement has to get a warrant to take saliva samples, he won't support the initiative.

The governor has also proposed funding a proposal for a universal after school program with revenue from a taxed and regulated marijuana market.