Defining the Difference: Vermont Hemp Program and the Cannabis Control Board
June 7, 2021 | Montpelier, VT - Recently, officials with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) Hemp Program have fielded questions about its regulatory authority and involvement within the recently established Cannabis Control Board. These programs, along with the Medical Marijuana Program, are separate and distinct from each other. However, the Secretary of Agriculture, or a designee, is one of fourteen members of an advisory committee to the Cannabis Control Board. This advisory committee will help shape Board recommendations to the Vermont Legislature addressing licensure, environmental and consumer protection challenges, among other important aspects of the Board’s mission.
Cannabis Control Board - Authority over adult-use cannabis, and eventually the Medical Marijuana Program, is with the Cannabis Control Board. In 2020, Act 164, created a framework for an equitable adult-use cannabis market with the intent of focusing on craft cultivation and products, preserving continuity of services for the existing Medical Marijuana Program and its patients, and protecting the environment, youth, and the consumer. “Cannabis” refers to all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or harvested, and includes (i)seeds of the plant; (ii) the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and (iii) any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. “Cannabis” explicitly does not include: (i) the mature stalks of the plant and fiber produced from the stalks; (ii) oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant; (iii) any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, fiber, oil, or cake; (iv) the sterilized seed of the plant that is incapable of germination; or (v) hemp or hemp products, as defined above.
Vermont Hemp Program - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) regulates the production of hemp crops, processing and labelling of hemp products and hemp-infused products in compliance with state and federal law, and the Vermont Hemp Rules. “Hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, including the seeds and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, acids, salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with the federally defined tetrahydrocannabinol concentration level of hemp. "Hemp" is considered an agricultural commodity. "Hemp products" or "hemp-infused products" means all products with the federally defined tetrahydrocannabinol concentration level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, construction materials, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol.
For information about the Vermont’s Hemp Program please go to https://agriculture.vermont.gov/hemp or call 802-828-1732.