On May 26, 2004, SB 76 became law without the governorís signature. Enacted on July 1, 2004, the law removes criminal penalties associated with the use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis for medical use. Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS or treatment if disease or treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms; or disease, condition, treatment that is chronic, debilitating, and produces cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, or seizures. In accordance with the law, qualified individuals or their caregivers are authorized to cultivate up to three plants, only one of which may be mature and patients may possess no more than two ounces of usable marijuana at any one time. On July 1, 2007, SB 7 increased cultivation limits to nine plants, two of which may be mature. SB 7 also amends the law allowing physicians in neighboring states to recommend cannabis to Vermont patients.
SB 76 established a mandatory, confidential state run registry run by the Department of Public Safety that issues ID cards to qualifying patients and caregivers. A registered caregiver may serve only one registered patient at a time, and a registered patient may have only one registered caregiver at a time. A caregiver must be 21 years of age or older and must have agreed to assist in the well being of a patient with respect to the use of medical cannabis.