Vermont House committee approves legal marijuana market

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) A Vermont House committee has approved a legal marijuana market for the first time.

The Government Operations Committee voted 10-1 in favor of a tax-and-regulate system for marijuana. The committee made some changes from the Senate-passed version. Thirty percent of tax revenue will go to youth prevention and education. And local communities can reject retail stores if they want.

But the panel did not include a final demand made by Gov. Phil Scott-- roadside saliva testing. The committee chair says the House is more motivated to pass it this year.

"The current situation that we have right now where cannabis is legal for adults to use and to possess, but if you can't grow it in your own home, maybe because you have small kids in the house or maybe because you live in an apartment, you don't have any legal way to access it. So I think there is more of a push to say, 'This current landscape is illogical,'" said Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas, D-Bradford.

The bill must be reviewed by at least one more committee before the full House takes it up.