A surprise twist in the Statehouse Thursday afternoon has the issue of marijuana legalization suddenly on the front burner in Montpelier again.
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A tri-partisan coalition of House lawmakers is now pushing for legislation that would create an above-board market for commercial cannabis sales.
Earlier this year, lawmakers and Gov. Phil Scott passed a law that will, starting July 1, legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and the cultivation of up to two mature cannabis plants. The law retains criminal penalties for large-scale cultivation and sales of the drug.
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On Thursday afternoon, however, Winooski Rep. Diana Gonzalez began laying the procedural groundwork for a vote on legislation that would create a legal cultivation industry and tax retail marijuana sales.
Gonzalez said she’s motivated by a lack of resources for opioid addiction treatment in Vermont.
“If we had a tax-and-regulate system for marijuana, then we could have some funds to address, in terms of prevention