Vermont Journal of Environmental Law

Volume 21 (2019-2020)

How Green is the “Green Rush”? Recognizing the Environmental Concerns Facing the Cannabis Industry

Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance and remains illegal, for all purposes, under Federal law. But, after 2018’s ballot initiatives, and the State of Illinois’ legislative enactments, 33 states plus the District of Columbia have legal, medical, and/or recreational cannabis regimes. States where marijuana has been broadly legal for years have designated dispensaries as “essential businesses” during the COVID-19 crisis. States that already have medical marijuana, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are exploring full legalization. Other states, such as Wisconsin and Kansas, are evaluating legislative proposals to decriminalize and regulate medical marijuana, and both have approved hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oils with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Even Texas governor Greg Abbott indicated during a recent debate that he is “open to some form of decriminalization.

How Green is the “Green Rush”? Recognizing the Environmental Concerns Facing the Cannabis IndustryHow Green is the “Green Rush”? Recognizing the Environmental Concerns Facing the Cannabis Industry