UPDATE: 24 hours after polls closed, we’ve learned via twitter — @vermontijuana — we’ve learned that both Johnson and South Hero also approved cannabis retail ballot initiatives. Thanks and H/T @spenceforprez and @davesilberman
Legal cannabis retail votes were the big winners of the 2021 Town Meeting Day election with 24 Vermont cities and towns approving cannabis retail sales as allowed under Act 164.
The largest cities and towns in the state and those with medical cannabis dispensaries passed the votes easily with large margins in Burlington, Winooski, Brattleboro, Bennington, Brandon, Montpelier, and Middlebury.
While some big ski towns are still waiting in the wings, there were impactful yes votes in Central Vermont in in Waterbury and Duxbury, towns on Route 100 which form the gateway to Stowe, Sugarbush, and Mad River Glen respectively. Waitsfield voted to put the retail sales question on a future ballot, and is expected to approve.
The Northeast Kingdom region was the most active region overall with nearly 10 cities and towns asking voters who approve cannabis sales. With razor-thin margins in multiple towns, those efforts were successful in Danville, Burke, Sutton, Barton, and Brownington, and Peacham (which passed by 18 votes).
In the two largest municipalities in the NEK, the ballot item failed in both Lyndon and Newport. St. Johnsbury will also vote on retail cannabis sales at their Town Meeting Day election, which was moved to early April.
In Southern Vermont, small towns also showed significant support passing the votes in both Danby and Pawlet. The small ‘suburban’ towns of Pownal (borders Bennington) and Salisbury (borders Middlebury) also passed the ballot items.
On the Eastern part of the state, Windsor, the birthplace of Vermont, will be first stop north of Brattleboro to allow retail sales, Farther up 91, the agricultural communities of Randolph and Strafford also approved the ballot question.
Governor Phil Scott’s hometown of Berlin was one of the pleasant surprises for advocates as the measure narrowly passed by 25 votes (400-375) in the mostly agricultural community.
Despite years of steadfast and outspoken opposition from their police department, the voters of Vergennes also approved the sales question by a definitive margin of 387-185.
The biggest negative surprise for advocates was the failure of cannabis in Richmond, where voters rejected legal cannabis sales 674-611.
Winooski, Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Montpelier, Danby, Pawlet, Danville, Windsor, Strafford, Middlebury, Vergennes, Waterbury, Pownal, Brandon, Salisbury, Burke, Sutton, Barton, Peacham, Brownington, Duxbury, *Waitsfield, Berlin, Randolph, Johnson, South Hero
Richmond, Lyndon, Newport
Vote in the Next Month:
Jamaica, St. Johnsbury