Rutland is now the second Vermont community to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. Rutland’s board of aldermen voted unanimously this week for a zoning bylaw that precludes dispensaries in the city.
The state has approved Vermont’s first two medical marijuana dispensaries – one in Burlington and one in Waterbury. State law allows for two more dispensaries to be set up. But it also allows towns to opt out. The town of Stowe has already done so.
Rutland Police Chief Jim Baker supports Rutland’s ban. He says dispensaries are a problem for law enforcement. "I don’t think we have the resources to be monitoring or checking up on a marijuana dispensary, and I don’t think the environment in the city right now is the best environment for that type of business," Baker said.
The state wasn’t prepared to help city police enforce security requirements for dispensaries, Baker says.
Supporters of marijuana dispensaries argue cannabis is a positive method of symptom relief. And some supporters say prohibition leads to crime.
Vermont has more than 400 patients and nearly 70 caregivers on its medical marijuana registry.