Group advocating for intersectional cannabis policies


To help politicians better understand the complex concerns surrounding the sale and usage of marijuana, a tiny group of activists is making a significant impact in Vermont. The executive director of the Vermont Growers Association is Geoffrey Pizzutillo.

While working as a medical marijuana caregiver, the man who founded the organization was a member of that profession. Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a nonprofit dedicated to informing and empowering college students to make informed decisions about their drug use, was founded in part thanks to his efforts at the University of Vermont.

Because of his day job as a web developer, Pizzutillo is able to help with virtual design and strategy advocacy for cannabis education initiatives. In March of this year, less than a year after Vermont legalized recreational marijuana usage, the group was formed as a 501(c)(4) advocacy group. They want to “protect a fair and sustainable cottage cannabis industry,” as their website states.

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As a result of their efforts, the group is able to educate and press legislators on problems relating to the sale and usage of marijuana. Although marijuana use is still associated with a negative connotation, Pizzutillo predicts that once the retail market is up and running, it will have a significant impact on the state’s economy.

Cannabis will be taxed at a rate of 14%, according to the Vermont Department of Taxes. Taxes on alcohol, on the other hand, range from 0 percent to 10 percent. Small cannabis businesses will be particularly harmed by the cap, which reduces their ability to sell products with historically higher THC contents, including edibles, wax, and other concentrates.

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To make up for their lack of control over the final THC content of their liquid concentrates, large producers own the pricey equipment needed to make the vape pens themselves. Pizzutillo disagrees with the argument that caps are put in place to prevent health risks. “If there was a health issue…

The liquid concentrations would have been included as well,” he stated. They believe they are trying to alter marijuana laws in order to benefit the sector and the state as a whole. There is an example of this argument in the group’s efforts to prevent a cap on THC, which is the component that provides a “high.”

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There is a 60 percent THC limit on all cannabis concentrates in the legal retail market. According to Pizzutillo, this is “what we think is the beginning of abandoning logic.” As a result of the association’s work, politicians in the state are better equipped to spot and correct errors before they become part of state legislation.

They began by opposing parts of Act 164, the marijuana regulatory bill. Policy priorities include reforming the medical marijuana program and enabling commercial cultivation on agricultural property. Educating legislators about marijuana legalization begins with members of the association’s ranks.

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According to Pizzutillo, “basically cannabis concentrates 101” was what they came up with. “We are having one-on-one discussions regarding the problem. That is all there is to it.”

Complex challenges such as environmental, racial, and criminal justice aspects of cannabis are all intertwined. According to Pizzutillo “not only from a policymaking perspective, but also from an advocacy perspective,” this matters.


Shyamly is a talented content editor at With her extensive experience in journalism, Shyamly brings a keen eye for detail and precision to the content she creates. She is responsible for ensuring that all news and updates on the cannabis industry are accurate, informative, and engaging for her readers. Shyamly's passion for writing is evident in her work, and her unique flair for creativity and innovation sets her apart from the rest. When she's not busy creating captivating content, she can be found exploring new hobbies, including photography and art.

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