Peacham, Brownington Approve Local Marijuana Sales

Voters fill out ballots in the Community Building in West Burke on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. On the ballot in Burke was a question about whether voters would be OK with cannabis retails sales in the community. It was a close vote, 133 yes and 130 no. (Photo by Dana Gray)

Peacham and Brownington have joined four other Northeast Kingdom towns in welcoming legalized marijuana sales in their communities.

According to unofficial ballot results, Peacham residents voted at Town Meeting on Tuesday to allow retail sales of cannabis by a vote of 168 yes - 145 no.

Brownington residents approved cannabis sales by a vote of 68 yes - 26 no.

They join the towns of Danville, Sutton, Burke and Barton that also voted on Tuesday to opt-in to the state’s new cannabis legalization law.

The ballot article approved in Peacham also authorizes so-called “integrated licenses” which permit marijuana cultivators, wholesalers, product manufacturers and testing laboratories to operate in town. Not all towns asked voters to approve both retail sales licenses and integrated licenses.

Lyndon and Newport City voted Tuesday to reject marijuana sales in their communities.

The Town of St. Johnsbury also added a marijuana question to its ballot this year but won’t hold Town Meeting until Tuesday, April, 6, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the new state law, retail marijuana shops can be opened in Vermont cities and towns as long as they are approved by the voters. Officials say cannabis retail shops may be taxable at the local level and will be subject to local zoning bylaws.

A total of 26 Vermont communities had marijuana retail sales articles on their Town Meeting ballots.

They include Berlin, Bennington, Brandon, Brattleboro, Burlington, Danby, Duxbury, Middlebury, Montpelier, Pawlet, Pownal, Randolph, Richmond, Salisbury, Strafford, Waitsfield, Waterbury and Winooski.

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