Frequently Asked Questions (Patient)
Who may become a registered patient with the Vermont Marijuana Registry (VMR)?
To become a registered patient, a person must be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a health care professional in the course of a bona fide health care professional-patient relationship. A registered patient must be a resident of Vermont and has been issued a registration card by the VMR. "Resident of Vermont" means a person whose domicile is Vermont.
What is a debilitating medical condition?
Vermont law (18 V.S.A. Chapter 86) defines a debilitating medical condition as a specific disease or condition, described in section (A) or (B), where reasonable medical efforts have been made over a reasonable amount of time to relieve the symptoms:
- Cancer, multiple sclerosis, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, glaucoma, or the treatment of these conditions, if the disease or the treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms; or
- A disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating, and produces one or more of the following intractable symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome; chronic pain; severe nausea; or seizures.
Who is a Health Care Professional?
An individual licensed to practice medicine under 26 V.S.A. Chapter 23 or 33, an individual licensed as a naturopathic physician under 26 V.S.A. Chapter 81, an individual certified as a physician assistant under 26 V.S.A. Chapter 31, or an individual licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse under 26 V.S.A. Chapter 28.
This definition includes individuals who are professionally licensed under substantially equivalent provisions in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York.
Accepted Health Care Professional types:
- Physician (M.D. or D.O.)
- Physician Assistant (P.A. or PA-C)
- Vermont Naturopathic Physician (N.D.)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
The VMR does not require specialized training for the listed Health Care Professionals to complete the form.
Is there a list of health care professionals who will/can complete the Health Care Professional Verification Form?
No, information regarding health care professionals is confidential.
My doctor is not willing to complete the Health Care Professional Verification Form, can I still apply?
A completed application must include a Health Care Professional Verification Form completed by a health care professional and submitted with the Registered Patient Application.
What is a bona fide health care professional-patient relationship?
A bona fide health care professional-patient relationship means a treating or consulting relationship of not less than three months' duration, in the course of which a health care professional has completed a full assessment of the registered patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination. The three-month requirement shall not apply if a patient has been diagnosed with:
- A terminal illness;
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome; or
- Is currently under hospice care.
The three-month requirement shall not apply if the patient had been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a health care professional in another jurisdiction in which the patient had been formerly a resident and the patient, now a resident of Vermont, has the diagnosis confirmed by a health care professional in this State or a qualifying neighboring state and the new health care professional has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination.
The three-month requirement shall not apply if a patient who is already on the registry changes health care professionals three months or less prior to the annual renewal of the patient’s registration, provided the patient’s new health care professional has completed a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination.
The VMR may also approve an application, notwithstanding the three-month requirement, if the VMR is satisfied that the debilitating medical condition is of recent or sudden onset, and the patient has not had a previous health care professional who was able to verify the nature of the disease and its symptoms.
How do I prove I am a resident of Vermont?
A valid Vermont driver’s license or non-driver identification card is required to establish residency.
How do I apply for a registry identification card?
A patient domiciled in Vermont with a bona fide health care professional-relationship, and who has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, may submit a completed Department-approved application. A patient without a bona fide health care professional-patient relationship whose medical condition is of recent or sudden onset may also submit such an application. A patient applying for a registry identification card shall submit a completed Registered Patient Application, Health Care Professional Verification Form, electronic photograph, and $50 non-refundable fee.
Can a patient under the age of 18 apply for a registry identification card?
Yes, a patient under the age of 18 years of age may apply for a registry identification card. In addition to the requirement specified above, under “How do I apply for a registry identification card?” the applications/forms must be signed by both the patient and his or her parent or guardian.
Please Note: A registered patient who is under 18 years of age may have two registered caregivers.
How long will it take to process my application?
The VMR must approve or deny an application in writing within 30 days of receipt of a completed application. If the application is approved, the VMR will issue the applicant a registry identification card. The registry identification card and/or any other correspondence will be sent to the mailing address provided on the completed application.
What are the photograph requirements?
You may have your photograph taken anywhere that offers passport photographs or any private individual with a digital camera or smartphone can take the photograph. Photographs can be burned on to a CD or emailed to the VMR. The photograph must be submitted with the patient’s name and date of birth on the CD or in the email. A photograph of a driver’s license or non-driver identification card will not be accepted. A photograph should be a clear, front view, full face of the applicant without a hat or dark glasses. Photographs that are not in focus will not be accepted. The VMR does not take photographs.
What are the fees?
There is a $50 non-refundable fee for each application for a registry identification card. The fee must accompany each initial or renewal application. Checks or money orders must be made out to the Vermont Department of Public Safety and dated. Please note that the fee will not be returned in the event that your application is denied.
There is a $25 processing fee for reissuing a lost or stolen registry identification card and for changes of information contained on a registry identification card. The fee must accompany a Change of Information form.
Please Note: When an applicant is updating information or changing his or her procurement selection at the time of renewal only the $50 non-refundable fee must be submitted.
Where can I find the applications/forms for registering or renewing with the VMR?
The applications/forms are located in the Document Library. You may also request a copy of the applications/forms to be mailed by contacting the VMR. The applications/forms are the same for initial and renewal applicants.
Please Note: Renewal applications do not require notarization and may require an updated electronic photograph be submitted.
Will the VMR remind me when it is time to renew my registry identification card?
No, it is your responsibility to renew annually with the VMR by submitting the required completed applications/forms with a non-refundable $50 fee.
Please Note: A completed Health Care Professional Verification Form is required for all renewal applicants.
What is a registered caregiver and is it required?
A registered caregiver is a person who is at least 21 years of age, who has met eligibility requirements determined by the VMR, and who has agreed to undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of a registered patient with respect to the use of marijuana for symptom relief. A registered caregiver shall be a resident of Vermont and shall not be a currently registered patient.
A patient applying for a registry identification card with the VMR is not required to have a registered caregiver. For additional information related to registered caregivers or registering as a caregiver please refer to the Caregiver Information section.
Please Note: A registered patient who is over 18 years of age may have only one registered caregiver.
Is my confidentiality protected?
Yes. All records maintained by the VMR are kept confidential. Limited information or records may be disclosed only in the following circumstances:
- Pursuant to a court order;
- With the written permission from the applicant;
- For prosecution for false swearing under 13 V.S.A. § 2904;
- To a law enforcement officer or agency for verifying information in response to person-specific or property-specific inquiry made in the course of a bona fide investigation or prosecution; or
- To a registered patient’s treating or consulting health care professional and to a registered patient’s caregiver.
Can I purchase usable marijuana from a registered dispensary and cultivate marijuana?
A registered patient may obtain marijuana only from the patient's designated dispensary and may designate only one dispensary. If a registered patient designates a dispensary, the patient and his or her caregiver may not grow marijuana or obtain marijuana or marijuana-infused products for symptom relief from any source other than the designated dispensary.
Where can I find information about the dispensaries and their locations?
Information about the dispensaries can be found in the Document Library under Dispensary Selection Information. You may also request a copy of this document be mailed to you by contacting the VMR.
How do I change my designated dispensary?
A registered patient who wishes to change his or her designated dispensary must complete a Change of Information form and submit a $25 fee. The VMR will issue a new registry identification card within 30 days of receiving the Change of Information form and $25 fee. A registered patient may only change his or her designated dispensary once in any 90-day period.
Can my registered caregiver and I designate different procurement selections?
No, a registered caregiver does not designate a procurement selection.
Can I purchase clones or seeds from a registered dispensary?
Yes, if you have designated your procurement selection as cultivating. You do not need to designate a dispensary to purchase clones or seeds.
Please note: Registered dispensaries have the option to sell clones and seeds.
How much marijuana is a registered patient allowed to possess?
“Possession limit” is defined by Vermont law to mean the amount of marijuana collectively possessed between the registered patient and the patient’s registered caregiver. All registered patients may possess no more than two ounces of usable marijuana. If a registered patient has designated a dispensary to purchase usable product from he or she is not allowed to cultivate marijuana plants. If a registered patient has designated his or her procurement selection as cultivating, he or she may, in addition to the two ounces of usable marijuana, possess no more than two mature plants and seven immature plants.
If I decide to cultivate marijuana as a registered patient what are the requirements?
A registered patient who elects to cultivate marijuana to be used for symptom relief may only do so in a single secure indoor facility. A single secure indoor facility must be a outbuilding or room equipped with locks or other security devices that only permits access to the registered patient and his or her registered caregiver. The location of the single secure indoor facility must be specified on your Registered Patient Application or Change of Information form submitted to the VMR.
Can I use or possess marijuana in another state?
No, registered patients may only legally use marijuana for purposes of symptom relief within the state of Vermont. The exemption from criminal and civil penalties provided under Vermont law does not extend to violation(s) of other Vermont state laws or to violation(s) of the laws of other states. The production and possession of marijuana remains a violation of federal law. Vermont state law does not provide any protection against a violation of federal law.
Are there any prohibitions regarding my use of marijuana?
Yes, a registered patient is not exempt from arrest or prosecution for:
Being under the influence of marijuana while:
- operating a motor vehicle, boat, or vessel, or any other vehicle propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power;
- in a workplace or place of employment; or
- operating heavy machinery or handling a dangerous instrumentality.
Possessing or cultivating marijuana or marijuana-infused products:
- for purposes other than symptom relief as permitted by these rules; or
- in a manner that endangers the health or well-being of another person.
Using, possessing, or cultivating marijuana or marijuana-infused:
- for purposes other than symptom relief as permitted by these rules; or
- in a manner that endangers the health or well-being of another person.
Are there any restrictions regarding my use of marijuana?
Yes, a registered patient may not smoke marijuana in any public place, including but not limited to:
- a school bus, public bus, or other public vehicle;
- a workplace or place of employment;
- any school grounds;
- any correctional facility;
- any public park, public beach, public recreation center, or youth center.
Does insurance pay for marijuana purchased from a registered dispensary?
No, coverage and/or reimbursement of marijuana for symptom relief is not required by a health insurer; insurance company; Medicaid or any other public health care assistance program; an employer; or worker’s compensation.
Can I or my registered caregiver legally transport marijuana?
Yes, only in Vermont and must be transported of marijuana must be done in a locked container.
Where can I get further information regarding the Vermont Marijuana Registry?
Please visit the Document Library or contact the VMR for additional information.