Vermont Public Radio recently reported that the state transferred $300,000 from its medical marijuana program into the general fund to help shore up a $30 million budget gap.
That article doesn’t happen without dogged activism and oversight from Vermont residents, especially registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers who brought this information to the media.
The first mention that I heard of $300,000 being transferred out of the medical marijuana program was from Bernie Barriere in August. Last year, Barriere’s company Vermont Green Grow applied for a dispensary license, and later sued the Department of Public Safety when its bid was unsuccessful.
Around the same time, Fran Janik (a patient and advocate who helps organize the Vermont Home Grown Facebook page) and others began discussing this rumor online. Eventually, VPR’s Emily Corwin got wind of the conversation and confirmed the transfer.
Her report raises a question: Are the fees paid by patients, caregivers, and dispensaries only to be used for the medical marijuana program, or just primarily for the medical marijuana program?
In the comment section of the VPR story, Lt. Gov. Dave Zuckerman