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The “Green” Mountain State

The “Green” Mountain State

In Vermont, you can buy a T-shirt that says “Eat More Kale.” The gay ice cream duo Ben and Jerry have their corporate home in Vermont, and you can tour the Ben & Jerry’s facilities. Given that Vermont loves the gays, you’d think they would be proud, but they actually think Ben and Jerry sold out. Yep, they prefer their own homemade ice cream. Also in Vermont, community gardens and co-ops are as popular as grocery stores.

This week, the state’s Governor Pete Shumlin signed a bill into law that requires any foods with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) to be labeled as such. At the signing ceremony, Gov. Shumlin stated,

“Vermonters take our food and how it is produced seriously, and we believe we have a right to know what’s in the food we buy. I am proud that we’re leading the way in the United States to require labeling of genetically engineered food. More than 60 countries have already restricted or labeled these foods, and now one state – Vermont – will also ensure that we know what’s in the food we buy and serve our families.”

The law does have some exceptions (like meat and milk), and it does not apply to to food served at restaurants…yet. You can bet the state is still doing research, and this is a huge jumping off point for them.

The food industry is PISSED at Vermont right now, as you can imagine. But they don’t care who is pissed. They care about the environment, about the food they eat, and about buying local.

That’s why we’re actually feeling good about Vermont’s new commitment to studying the possible impact of legalizing marijuana. The state legislature recently tasked Gov. Shumlin’s administration with studying the anticipated fiscal and other impacts of legalization in Vermont, and their report is due January 15, 2015.

The Shumlin administration hasn’t developed a plan of action yet as to how they’ll carry out their directive, but for now, they’re observing Colorado and Washington. They are analyzing what those states may have failed to consider before legalization, like how edibles and infused products factor in. They’re also open to hearing suggestions from advocates on either side of the issue.

All in all, we believe something great could come from Vermont’s study. Given their history and values, we have confidence that they’ll conduct thorough and unbiased research, and we’re pretty excited to see what they come up with by January 15.


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