Legislative Proposal- VT '19-'20
Title 26: Professions And Occupations
Chapter 104: Recreational & Medicinal Drug Stewards
Subchapter 1: General Provisions
§ 5401. Short title
This chapter may be cited as the Recreational and Medicinal Drug Administration Safety Stewardship Act.
§ 5402. Uniformity of application and construction
In applying and construing this uniform act, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to the applications and administration of legal, natural and synthetic drug compounds by industry professionals, hereforth referred to as “Stewards”.
(1) The list of authorized compounds for certified stewards to administer and/or redistribute to other stewards and/or the public includes:
(a) Cannabis ;
<(b) Psilocybin; ... For end of life care or recreational use … This framework is designed to make future conversations on regulating additional drugs for medicinal and recreational use through stewards as straightforward as amending section 5402 to include them. 5402(b) will be deleted from the drafts that we present to the relevant VT legislative committees in the 2019-2020 session.>
§ 5403. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Transaction" means a declaration by an individual before a steward that the individual has agreed to the terms of the transaction and, if the record is completed in a representative capacity, that the individual engaged in this transaction with proper authority as the act of the individual or entity identified in the record.
(2) "Certificate" or "stewardship certificate" means the part of the transaction that provides receipt of certified purchases by the customer.
(3) "Commission term" means the two-year period commencing on the date of issuance.
(4) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
(5) "Electronic signature" means an electronic symbol, sound, or process attached to or logically associated with a record of the event that validates a commissioned stewards certificate of registration.
(6) "In a representative capacity" means acting as:
(a) an authorized officer, agent, partner, trustee, or other representative for a person other than an individual;
(b) a public officer, personal representative, guardian, administrator, executor, trustee, or other representative, in the capacity stated in a record;
(c) an agent or attorney-in-fact for a principal; or
(d) an authorized representative of another in any other capacity.
(7)(a) "Stewardship act" means an act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or an electronic record that a steward may perform under the law of this State. The term includes taking an acknowledgment of identity and age, administering an oath or affirmation, taking a verification on oath or affirmation, attesting a signature, and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.
(b) "Stewardship act" does not exclude a corporate officer from engaging in personal legal activities with other corporate officer’s in a consensual and non-work related manner during the ordinary course of the corporation's business.
(8) "Stewardship officer" means a steward or other individual authorized to perform a stewardship act.
(9) "Steward" means an individual commissioned to perform a stewardship act by the Office.
(10) "Office" means the Office of Professional Regulation within the Office of the Secretary of State.
(11) "Official stamp" means a physical image affixed to or embossed on a tangible record or an electronic process, seal, or image or electronic information attached to or logically associated with an electronic record.
(12) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, statutory trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.
(13) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium that documents a transaction and is retrievable in perceivable form.
(14) "Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:
(a) to execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
(b) to attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process.
(15) "Signature" means a tangible symbol or an electronic signature that evidences the signing of a record.
(16) "Stamping device" means:
(a) a physical device capable of affixing to or embossing on a tangible record an official stamp; or
(b) an electronic device or process capable of attaching to or logically associating with an electronic record an official stamp.
(17) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
(18) "Verification on oath or affirmation" means a declaration, made by an individual on oath or affirmation before a steward, that a statement in a record is true.
(19) "Attest services" means providing services to any transaction performed in accordance with this Title;
(20) "Board" means the Independent Stewardship Board (ISB).
(21) "Disciplinary action" or "disciplinary cases" includes any action taken by a board against a licensee, registrant, or applicant premised upon a finding of wrongdoing or unprofessional conduct by the licensee or applicant. It includes all sanctions of any kind, excluding obtaining injunctions, but including issuing warnings, other similar sanctions, and ordering restitution.
(22) "Firm" means a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a partnership, association, or any other entity that practices Stewardship.
(23) "Foreign firm" means a firm not located in the United States, its territories, or possessions.
(24) "Home office" means the location specified by the client as the address to which a service described in subsection 5461 (B)(3) of this title is directed.
(25) "Peer review" means a system-wide study, appraisal, or review of one or more aspects of the professional work of a person or firm in the practice of stewardship that performs or attests services by a person or persons who are licensed under this chapter and who are not affiliated with the person or firm being reviewed.
(26) "Principal place of business" means the office location designated by the licensee for the purposes of substantial equivalency and reciprocity.
(27) "Report" when used with reference to any commissioned service, means an opinion, report, or other form of language that states or implies assurance as to the reliability of the attested services and that also includes or is accompanied by any statement or implication that the person or firm issuing it has special knowledge or competence in stewardship.
(a) A statement or implication of special knowledge or competence may arise from use by the issuer of the report of names or titles indicating that the person or firm is a steward, or from the language of the report itself.
(28) “Public place” means any street, alley, park, sidewalk, public building other than individual dwellings, or any place of public accommodation as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 4501. It does not include an establishment or venue as defined in 5461(e) of this Title.
Subchapter 2: Administration
§ 5421. Secretary of State’s Office Duties
The Office shall:
(1) Provide general information to applicants for commissioning as a steward;
(2) Administer fees as provided under section 5428 of this chapter;
(3) Explain appeal procedures to stewards and applicants and explain complaint procedures to the public; and
(4) Receive applications for commissioning, review applications, and grant and renew commissions when appropriate under this chapter.
§ 5422. Advisor Appointees
(a) The Secretary of State shall appoint two stewards to serve as advisors in matters relating to stewardship acts. One of the advisors shall be an attorney selected from a list of at least three licensed attorneys provided by the Vermont Bar Association. The advisors shall be appointed for staggered five-year terms and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary. One of the initial appointments shall be for less than a five-year term.
(b) Each appointee shall have a significant amount of experience and industry knowledge as a steward during the period immediately preceding appointment and shall be actively pursuing stewardship certification and maintain commission in Vermont while remaining in good standing during incumbency.
(c) The Office shall seek the advice of the advisor appointees in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. The appointees shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement of expenses as set forth in 32 V.S.A. § 1010 for attendance at any meeting called by the Office for this purpose.
§ 5423. Creation of the Independent Stewardship Board (ISB)
(a) A board of commissioned stewards is created, consisting of five members, who shall be residents of this state.
(b) At least one member of the board shall be a member of the public who has no pecuniary interest in stewardship other than as a consumer or possible consumer of its services. The member shall have no pecuniary interest personally or through a spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister.
(c) At least three members of the board shall be licensed stewards or in process of becoming commissioned.
(d) Board members shall be appointed for five-year terms by the governor in accordance with 3 V.S.A. § 129b.
§ 5424. Functioning of board
(a) Annually, the board shall meet to elect a chairperson and a secretary.
(b) Meetings may be called by the chairperson and shall be called upon the request of any other two members.
(c) Meetings shall be warned and conducted in accordance with 1 V.S.A. chapter 5.
(d) A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum.
(e) All business may be transacted by a majority vote of the members present and voting, unless otherwise provided by statute.
§ 5425. General powers and duties of the board
(a) The board shall adopt rules concerning:
(1) a definition of the practice of stewardship, interpreting section 5435 of this title as appropriate;
(2) Qualifications for obtaining licensure, interpreting the relevant statutes as appropriate;
(3)F approved by the secretary of state, which are to be used by the board; and
(4) Explanations of appeal and other significant rights given to applicants and the public.
(b) The board may:
(1) Conduct examinations and pass upon the qualifications of applicants for licensing;
(2) Adopt rules of professional conduct for establishing and maintaining high standards of competence and integrity in the stewardship profession;
(3) Adopt rules establishing reasonable continuing education requirements, not to exceed 10 hours per year, and establish or approve continuing education programs to assist a licensee in meeting these requirements;
(4) investigate suspected violations of section 5435 of this title and suspected unprofessional conduct;
(5) conduct hearings;
(6) issue subpoenas and administer oaths in connection with any authorized investigation or hearing;
(7) take or cause depositions to be taken as needed in any investigation or hearing before it;
(8) receive legal assistance from the secretary of state's office and from the attorney general;
(9) seek and obtain injunctions to restrain violations of section 5435 of this title or unprofessional conduct;
(10) cooperate with licensing and regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions to investigate suspected violations of section 5435 of this title and suspected unprofessional conduct;
(11) hire an executive director;
(12) adopt rules regarding peer reviews that may be required to be performed under this chapter.
(c) The board annually may submit a proposed budget to the Secretary of State.
§ 5426. Rules
(a) The Office, with the advice of the advisor appointees, may adopt rules to implement this chapter. The rules may:
(1) prescribe the manner of performing stewardship acts regarding submissions of tangible and electronic records;
(2) include provisions to ensure that any change to or tampering with, a record bearing a certificate of a stewardship act is self-evident;
(3) include provisions to ensure integrity in the creation, transmittal, storage, destruction, or authentication of electronic records or signatures;
(4) prescribe the process of granting, renewing, conditioning, denying, suspending, or revoking the commission of or otherwise disciplining a steward and assuring the trustworthiness of an individual holding a commission of a state sanctioned, steward;
(5) include provisions to prevent fraud, data corruption, or mistake in the performance of steward acts including the protection of all identity-related content; and
(6) prescribe standards for remote online stewardship, including standards for credential analysis, the process through which a third person affirms the identity of an individual, and the form of notice to be appended disclosing the fact that the stewardship was securely received remotely and transaction complete.
(b) Rules adopted regarding the performance of stewardship acts with respect to electronic records and remote online stewardship may not require, or accord greater legal status or effect to, the implementation or application of a specific technology or technical specification. In adopting, amending, or repealing rules regarding steward acts with respect to electronic records and remote online stewardship, the Office shall consider, as far as is consistent with this chapter:
(1) the most recent standards regarding electronic records and remote online stewardship acts as promulgated by other national bodies, and in states with similarly legal compounds;
(2) standards, practices, and customs of other jurisdictions that substantially enact this chapter; and
(3) the views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons.
(c) Neither electronic stewardship nor remote online stewardship within state shall be allowed for commercial fee until the Secretary of State has adopted rules and prescribed standards in these areas.
§ 5427. Tax Accountability; Business Integration
(a) 10% tax rate on all transaction sales permitted for cultivation, manufacturing & production of products (e.g., salves, creams, edibles and infused beverages) and as found in Subchapter 1, section 5402 of this chapter;
(b) 7% tax rate for all collectives and cooperatives;
(c) All transactions must be filed electronically with the Office;
(d) The Director will have spending oversight to implement technological systems that integrate with the Office’s business portal; and
(e) The opt-in, real-time transaction fee and tax payment system reduces tax rates for stewards and licensees by 1% if compliant with the program goals annually.
(1) The Director will develop this program and administer the technical roll out through continuing education sessions.
§ 5428. Fees
For the issuance of a commission as Commissioned Steward, the Office shall collect a fee of $375.00 for all stewardship licenses.
Subchapter 3: Commissions
§ 5431. Commission as steward; qualifications; no immunity or benefit
(a) An individual qualified under subsection (b) of this section may apply to the Office for a commission as a steward. The applicant shall comply with and provide the information required by rules adopted by the Office and pay the application fee set forth in section 5428 of this chapter.
(b) An applicant for a commission as a steward shall:
(1) be at least 21 years of age and pursuant to changes within Act 86 for legal age of consumption;
(2) be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
(3) be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in this State;
(4) not be disqualified to receive a commission under section 5432 of this chapter; and
(5) pass a basic examination approved by the Office based on the statutes, rules, and ethics relevant to stewardship acts.
(c) Before issuance of a commission as a steward, an applicant for the commission shall execute an oath of office and submit it to the Office.
(d) Upon compliance with this section, the Office shall issue a commission as a steward to an applicant, which shall be valid through the then current commission term end date.
(e) A commission to act as a steward authorizes the steward to perform stewardship acts. The commission does not provide the steward any immunity or benefit conferred by law of this State on public officials or employees.
§ 5432. Grounds to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, or condition commission of steward.
(a) The Office may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, or impose a condition on a commission as steward for any act or omission that demonstrates the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence, or reliability to act as a steward, including:
(1) failure to comply with this chapter;
(2) a fraudulent, dishonest, or deceitful misstatement or omission in the application for a commission as a steward submitted to the Office;
(3) a conviction of the applicant or steward of any felony or a crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or deceit; (a) any past conviction of the applicant or steward of any felony or a crime involving previously illegal compounds, now recognized as legal by the state (e.g., cannabis) will be expunged statewide, and are not grounds for denial of steward commission;
(4) a finding against, or admission of liability by, the applicant or steward in any legal proceeding or disciplinary action based on the applicant's or steward’s fraud, dishonesty, or deceit;
(5) failure by the steward to discharge any duty required of a steward, whether by this chapter, rules of the Office, or any federal or State law;
(6) use of false or misleading advertising or representation by the steward representing that the steward has a duty, right, or privilege that the steward does not have;
(7) violation by the steward of a rule of the Office regarding a steward;
(a) loss in inventory or theft of members / patients / customers / clients attributable to intentional negligent performance in licensed stewardship activities;
(8) denial, refusal to renew, revocation, suspension, or conditioning of a steward commission in another state; or
(9) committing any of the conduct set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129a(a).
(b) If the Office denies, refuses to renew, revokes, suspends, or imposes conditions on a commission as a steward, the applicant or steward is entitled to timely notice and hearing in accordance with 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.
§ 5433. Renewals; continuing education
(a) Biennially, the Office shall provide a renewal notice to each commissioned steward. Upon receipt of a steward’s completed renewal, payment of the fee as set forth in section 5428 of this chapter, and evidence of eligibility, the Office shall issue to him or her a new commission.
(b) A steward applying for renewal shall complete continuing education approved by the Office, which shall not be required to exceed twenty hours, during the preceding two-year period.
(c) The Office, with the advice of the advisor appointees, shall establish by rule guidelines and criteria for continuing education credit.
§ 5434. Database of stewards
The Office shall maintain an electronic database of stewards:
(1) through which a person may verify the authority of a steward to perform stewardship acts; and
(2) that indicates whether a steward has notified the Office that the steward will be performing some or all components of stewardship acts online (e.g., scheduling, advertising, legal compliance, banking, and identity validation of members/patients/customers/clients).
§ 5435. Prohibitions; offenses & disciplinary matters
(a) A person shall not perform or attempt to perform a certified stewardship act or represent themselves as being able to do so in this State without first having been commissioned.
(b) A person shall not use in connection with the person's name any letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is a steward unless commissioned in accordance with this chapter.
(c) A person shall not perform or attempt to perform a stewardship act while their commission has been revoked or suspended.
(d) A person who violates a provision of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Prosecution may occur upon the complaint of the Attorney General or a State's Attorney and shall not act as a bar to civil or administrative proceedings involving the same conduct.
(e) A commission as a steward shall not authorize an individual to assist a person in:
(1) drafting legal records, give legal advice, or otherwise practice law.
(2) withhold access to or possession of State licensed stewardship records .
(f) Except as otherwise allowed by law or court order, stewardship records of individual identities of a commissioned steward’s members/patients/customers/clients are protected in full confidence and should not be shared outside of the rules set forth in section 5426 of this act.
§ 5436. Exemptions
(1) The persons set forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection, when acting within the scope of their official duties, are exempt from all of the requirements of this chapter, except for the requirements:
(i) to apply for a commission as set forth in section 5431 of this chapter; and
(ii) unless exempted under subsection (c) of this section, to pay the fee set forth in section 5428 of this chapter.
(2)(i) Persons employed by the Judiciary, including judges, Superior Court clerks, court operations managers, Probate registers, case managers, docket clerks, assistant judges, county clerks, and after-hours relief from abuse contract employees.
(ii) Persons employed as law enforcement officers certified under 20 V.S.A. chapter 151; who are noncertified constables; or who are employed by a Vermont law enforcement agency, the Department of Public Safety, of Fish and Wildlife, of Motor Vehicles, of Liquor Control, or for Children and Families, the Office of the Defender General, the Office of the Attorney General, or a State's Attorney or Sheriff.
(3) As used in subdivision (1) of this subsection, "acting within the scope of official duties" means that a person is performing a stewardship act with intentions to complete transactions in safe, responsible manner that:
(i) the individual believes is related to the execution of their duties and responsibilities of employment or is the type of transaction that requires the performance of stewardship functions in the course of employment;
(ii) is useful or of assistance to any person or entity identified in subdivision (2) of this subsection (a);
(iii) is required, requested, created, used, submitted, or relied upon by any person or entity identified in subdivision (2) of this subsection (a);
(iiii) is necessary in order to assist in the representation, care, or protection of a person or the State;
(v) is necessary in order to protect the public or property;
(vi) is necessary to represent or assist crime victims in receiving restitution or other services;
(vii) relates to a Vermont or federal court rule or statute governing any criminal, postconviction, mental health, family, juvenile, civil, probate, Judicial Bureau, Environmental Division, or Supreme Court matter; or
(viii) relates to a matter subject to Title 4, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 23, or 33 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated.
(1) Attorneys licensed and in good standing in this State are exempt from:
(i) the examination requirement set forth in subsection 5441(b) of this chapter; and
(ii) the continuing education requirement set forth in section 5433 of this chapter if suitable CLE courses have been taken.
(2) If a complaint of a violation of this chapter is filed in regard to a Vermont licensed attorney, the Office shall refer the complaint to the Professional Responsibility Board and shall request a report back from the Board regarding the final disposition of the complaint.
(c) Fees. The following persons are exempt from the fee set forth in section 5428 of this chapter:
(1) a judge, clerk, or other court staff, as designated by the Court Administrator;
(2) State's Attorneys and their deputies and Assistant Attorneys General, public defenders, and their staff;
(3) justices of the peace and town clerks and their assistants; and
(4) State Police officers, municipal police officers, fish and game wardens, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, motor vehicle inspectors, employees of the Department of Corrections, and employees of the Department for Children and Families.
§ 5437. Unprofessional conduct
Unprofessional conduct means:
(a) The conduct prohibited by this section, by 3 V.S.A. § 129a, or by other statutes relating to stewardship, whether or not that conduct is by a licensee, an applicant, or a person who later becomes an applicant;
(b) Disciplinary action by another state or country or federal agency of a license or certificate to practice public recreational and medicinal drug stewardship;
(c) Failing to make available, upon request of a person using stewardship services, copies of documents in the possession or under the control of the steward, when those documents have been prepared for and paid for by the user of services;
(d) Failing to return client-supplied information and documents, in whatever native or common form contained, upon request of the client;
(e) Any of the following except when reasonably undertaken in an emergency situation in order to protect life, health, or property:
(1) practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law; or
(2) accepting and performing stewardship responsibilities which the licensee knows or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform;
(3) performing stewardship services which have not been authorized by the consumer or the consumer's legal representative;
(f) Dishonesty, fraud, or negligence in the practice of stewardship, including making misleading, deceptive, or untrue representations in the practice of stewardship activities;
(g) The making of any false or misleading statement in support of an application filed by another;
(h) Failure of a licensee to provide any explanation requested by the board regarding evidence submitted by the licensee in support of an application for licensure filed by another, or regarding evidence submitted by the licensee in support of an application for licensure filed by another, or regarding a failure or refusal to submit such evidence; and failure by a licensee to furnish for inspection, upon request by the board, or its representative, documentation relating to any evidence submitted by the licensee in support of such an application; or
(i) Failing to report changes to the board as required by statute and the board's rules.
§ 5438. Penalties
(a) In addition to other powers specifically established by law, the board may:
(1) Refuse to accept the return of a license tendered by the subject of a disciplinary investigation;
(2) Refuse to license a person who is under investigation in another jurisdiction for an offense which would constitute unprofessional conduct in this state; and
(3) Issue warnings and reprimands, condition, suspend, revoke, or reinstate licenses and order restitution to aggrieved consumers.
(b) The board shall accept complaints from any member of the public, any licensee, any state or federal agency, or the attorney general. The board may initiate disciplinary action in any complaint against a licensee and may act without having received a complaint.
(c) After hearing, the board may take disciplinary action against a licensee, registrant, or applicant found guilty of unprofessional conduct.
(d) On petition, the board may reinstate any license or registration it earlier conditioned, revoked, or suspended under authority of section 5432.
(e) Appeals from final board decisions shall be taken in accordance with 3 V.S.A. § 130a.
Subchapter 4: Stewardship Acts
§ 5441. Stewardship acts in this State; authority to perform
(a) Only commissioned stewards of this State may practice stewardship acts under this chapter.
(b) The signature and title of an individual performing a stewardship act in this State are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title.
§ 5442. Authorized stewardship acts
(a) A steward may perform a stewardship act authorized by this chapter or otherwise by law of this State.
§ 5443. Requirements for certain stewardship acts
(a) Transactions. A steward who engages in transactions shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, that the individual appearing before the officer and making the transaction has the identity claimed and meets the law as set out in this chapter to engage in the transaction.
(b) Verifications. A steward who takes a verification of a statement on oath or affirmation shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, that the individual appearing before the officer and making the verification has the identity claimed and that the signature on the statement verified is the signature of the individual.
§ 5444. Personal appearance requirement exceptions
(a) If a stewardship act relates to a transaction where any of the drugs in section §5402 of Subchapter 1 shall appear personally before the steward.
(b) The requirement for a personal appearance is satisfied if:
(1) the steward and the person executing the transaction are in the same physical place; or
(2) the steward and the person are communicating through a secure communication link using protocols and standards prescribed in rules adopted by the Secretary of State pursuant to the rulemaking authority set forth in this chapter.
§ 5445. Identification of individual & age validation
(a) Personal knowledge. A steward has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing before the officer if the individual is personally known to the officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed.
(b) Satisfactory evidence. A steward has satisfactory evidence of the identity of an individual appearing before the officer if the officer can identify the individual:
(1) by means of:
(i) a passport, driver's license, or government-issued nondriver identification card, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the stewardship act; or
(ii) another form of government identification issued to an individual, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the stewardship act, contains the signature or a photograph of the individual, and is satisfactory to the officer; or
(2) by a verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the officer and known to the officer or whom the officer can identify on the basis of a passport, driver's license, or government-issued nondriver identification card, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the stewardship act.
(c) Additional information. A steward may require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the steward of the identity of the individual.
§ 5446. Certificate of Stewardship Acts
(a) A stewardship act shall be evidenced by a certificate. The certificate shall:
(1) be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the stewardship act;
(2) be signed and dated by the steward and be signed in the same manner as on file with the Office;
(3) identify the jurisdiction and setting in which the stewardship act is performed;
(4) contain the title of office of the steward; and
(5) indicate the date of expiration of the officer's commission.
(b)(1) If a stewardship act regarding a tangible transaction is performed by a steward, an official stamp shall be affixed to or embossed on the certificate or, in the alternative, the steward shall clearly print or type the steward’s name and commission number on the certificate.
(2) If a stewardship act regarding an electronic record is performed by a steward and the certificate contains the information specified in subdivisions (a)(2)-(4) of this section, an official stamp may be attached to or logically associated with the online certificate.
(c) A certificate of a steward act is sufficient if it meets the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section and:
(1) is in a short form (and filed electronically);
(i) the following short-form certificates of stewardship acts shall be sufficient for the purposes indicated, if completed online with the information required by subsections 5446(a) and (b) of this chapter:
(ii) For an acknowledgment in an individual capacity:
Date ________ Name(s) of steward____________________________
Signature of steward _______________________________________
Setting / Jurisdiction ______________________________________
State of Vermont, County of [ _________] Commission ID [_______________]
Title of office [__________] Commission expires: [ ____________] ;
(2) is in a form otherwise permitted by the law of this State;
(3) is in a form permitted by the law applicable in the jurisdiction in which the stewardship act was performed; or
(4) sets forth the actions of the steward and the actions are sufficient to meet the requirements of the stewardship act as provided in sections 5441-5443 of this chapter or a law of this State other than this chapter.
(d) By executing a certificate of a stewardship acts, a steward certifies that the steward has complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in sections 5444-5446 of this chapter.
(e) A steward shall not affix the steward’s signature to, or logically associate it with, a certificate until the stewardship act has been performed.
(f)(1) If a stewardship act is performed regarding a tangible transaction record, a certificate shall be part of, or securely attached to, the transaction record.
(2) If a stewardship act is performed regarding an electronic record, the certificate shall be affixed to, or logically associated with, the electronic record.
(3) If the Office has established standards by rule pursuant to section 5426 of this chapter for attaching, affixing, or logically associating the certificate, the process shall conform to those standards.
§ 5447. Notification regarding performance of stewardship acts on electronic record; selection of technology
(a) A steward may select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform various components of stewardship acts with respect to electronic records from the tamper-evident technologies approved by the Office by rule. A person shall not require a steward to perform a stewardship act with respect to an electronic record with a technology that the steward has not selected.
(b) Before a steward performs the steward’s initial stewardship act with respect to an electronic record, the steward shall notify the Office that the steward will be performing stewardship acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology the steward intends to use from the list of technologies approved by the Office by rule. If the Office has established standards by rule for approval of technology pursuant to section 5426 of this chapter, the technology shall conform to the standards. If the technology conforms to the standards, the Office shall approve the use of the technology. This technology will integrate with existing single-point portal technologies of the Office.
§ 5448. Authority to refuse to perform stewardship acts
(a) A steward may refuse to perform a stewardship act if the steward is not satisfied that:
(1) the individual seeking stewardship services is competent or has the capacity to execute the responsibility of safe and reasonable practices; or
(2) the individual's consent to participate is knowingly and voluntarily made.
(b) a steward may refuse to perform a stewardship act unless refusal is prohibited by law other than this chapter
(c) steward’s found refusing service based on racial, gender, religious, or other discriminatory basis will result in Independent Stewardship Board review of licensing commission.
§ 5449. Validity of Stewardship Acts
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5448(b) of this chapter, the failure of a steward to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in this chapter shall not impair the marketability of title or invalidate a stewardship act or a certification evidencing the stewardship act.
(b) An acknowledgment that contains a stewardship commission expiration date that is either inaccurate or expired shall not invalidate the acknowledgment if it can be established that on the date the acknowledgment was taken, the steward’s commission was active.
(c) The validity of a stewardship act under this chapter shall not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to retain any services already rendered or legal goods that may have been invalidly redistributed during the stewardship act or from seeking other remedies based on law of this State other than this chapter or law of the United States.
(d) Defects in the written evidence of acknowledgment in a document in the public records can be cured by the steward who performed the original stewardship act. The steward shall, under oath and before a different steward (or public notary), execute a writing correcting any defect. Upon recording, the corrective document corrects any deficiency and ratifies the original written evidence of acknowledgment as of the date the acknowledgment was originally taken.
(e) This section does not validate a purported stewardship act performed by an individual who does not have the authority to perform stewardship acts.
§ 5450. Stewardship acts in another State
(a) A stewardship act performed in another state has the same effect under the law of this State as if performed by a steward of this State, if the act performed in that state is performed by:
(1) a similarly recognized steward of that state;
(2) any other individual authorized by the law of that state to perform the stewardship act.
(b) Licensure by endorsement. Without requiring an examination, the Secretary of State can ask the board to review issuing an appropriate license to a steward who is licensed or certified under the laws of another state:
(1) with education, examination, and experience requirements which the board considers to be substantially equal to those of this state; or
(2)(i) upon a showing that the applicant has had five years of experience in the practice of stewardship or meets equivalent requirements prescribed by the board by rule within the 10 years immediately preceding the application; and
(ii) has fulfilled the requirements of continuing education or continuing professional competence programs that would have been applicable under subsection 5433 of this title.
§ 5451. Stewardship acts under authority of federally recognized Indian tribe
(a) A stewardship act performed under the authority and in the jurisdiction of a federally or State recognized Indian tribe has the same effect as if performed by a commissioned steward of this State, if the act performed in the jurisdiction of the tribe is performed by:
(1) a similarly recognized steward of the tribe;
(2) any other individual authorized by the law of that tribe to perform the stewardship act.
§ 5452. Evidence of authenticity of stewardship acts performed in this State
(a) The authenticity of the official stewardship stamp and signature of a steward may be evidenced by:
(1) A certificate of authority from the Secretary of State authenticated as necessary.
§ 5453. Alternate commerce and sanctioned trades, barters, and exchanges
(a) commissioned stewards may barter, trade, and exchange drugs permitted under 5402 of Subchapter 1
(1) A certificate of record for these transactions is sufficient evidence if recorded with the Secretary of State and pursuant to certificate requirements in 5446.
§ 5454. Agent for process
An application under this chapter for a license or registration by a person who is not a resident of this state shall constitute the appointment of the secretary of state as an agent for service of process in any action or proceeding arising out of any transaction, activity, or operation in this state by the applicant concerning the practice of certified stewardship.
Subchapter 5: Stewardship Practices, Settings, Transportation, and Testing Standards
§ 5461. Authorized stewardship organizational types and settings
(a) Corporations practicing stewardship consulting
A corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other business organization engaged in the practice of stewardship may be disciplined by the board for the unprofessional conduct of its officers, directors, managers, members, partners, shareholders, and employees. Disciplinary action against a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other business organization may include recommending to the Secretary of State that involuntary dissolution proceedings be begun;
(b) Firms, registration, and ownership
(1) A firm shall be required to obtain registration pursuant to this for any business activity engaged in the retail, production & manufacturing, cultivation, handling, transportation, or any other related stewardship activity of authorized substances in 5402 of this Chapter and where certificates of transaction are required:
(i) has an office established or maintained in this State for the practice of stewardship activities;
(ii) has an office established or maintained in this State that uses the term "Commissioned Steward (CS)" or "Certified Stewardship (CS) firm"; or
(iii) does not have an office in this State but performs services described in this title for a client with a home office in this State.
(2) A firm that does not have an office in this State may perform those services set forth in this Title for a client with a home office in this State, may otherwise practice stewardship as authorized under this chapter, and may use the title "Commissioned Steward (CS)" or "Certified Stewardship (CS) Firm" only if the firm:
(i) meets the qualifications set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this section;
(ii) meets the requirements of section 5433 of this title; and
(iii) performs services through an individual with practice privileges set forth under section 5461(f) of this title.
(3) An applicant for initial registration or renewal under this section shall be required to show that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a simple majority of the ownership of the firm, in terms of equity, creditor and voting rights of all partners, officers, members, shareholders, or managers, belongs to holders of a stewardship certificate who are licensed in some state, and such partners, officers, members, shareholders, or managers, whose principal place of business is in this State, and who perform professional services in this State, hold a valid license issued under this chapter. Although firms may include nonlicensee owners, the firm and its ownership must comply with the rules adopted by the Board.
(4) Any CS firm as defined in this chapter may include nonlicensee owners, provided that:
(i) The firm designates a licensee of this State or, in the case of a firm that is required to have a registration pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, a licensee who meets the requirements set forth in section 5461(f) of this title who is responsible for the proper registration of the firm, and identifies that individual to the Board.
(ii) All nonlicensee owners are active individual participants in the CS, CS firm or affiliated entities.
(iii) The firm complies with other requirements as the Board may impose by rule.
(5) Any individual licensee who is responsible for supervising attest services and signs or authorizes someone to sign the steward’s report on behalf of the firm shall meet the experience and competency requirements set out in the professional standards for such services.
(6) Any individual exercising practice privileges pursuant to section 5461(f) of this title, and who is responsible for supervising attest services and signs or authorizes someone to sign the steward’s report on behalf of the firm, shall meet the experience and competency requirements set forth in the professional standards for those services.
(7) Each office in this State shall be under the supervision of a steward who is licensed in this State.
(c) Out-of-state & foreign registration
(1) A foreign firm licensed or registered in another country seeking to practice temporarily in the state shall register with the board and pay the required fee. The board shall adopt rules prescribing the procedure to be followed in carrying out the registrations. Registrations under this section shall expire three months after issuance. "Firm" is as defined in subdivision 5403 of this title and includes Sole Proprietors within its definition.
(2) A foreign firm providing stewardship services in the state of Vermont shall be registered and obtain a firm registration number.
(3) A steward qualified for the practice of stewardship in a foreign country may:
(i) Use a title granted by that country, together with any suitable translation into English of that title, and the name of that country;
(ii) Temporarily practice stewardship after registering with the board under section 5431(b) of this title.
(d) Substantial equivalency
(1) An individual whose principal place of business is not in this state shall be presumed to have qualifications substantially equivalent to this state's requirements and shall have the privileges of licensure of this state, without the need to obtain a license under section 5450(b) of this title, if the individual:
(i) Holds a valid license as a certified steward from a state that the board determines has licensure requirements substantially equivalent to the requirements of 5433 in this chapter;
(2) An individual licensee of another state exercising the privileges afforded under this section and the firm that employs that licensee, as a condition of the exercise of this privilege, shall consent to the following:
(i) Personal and subject matter jurisdiction and the disciplinary authority of the board;
(ii) Compliance with this chapter and the board's administrative rules and any other laws governing the practice of the profession in this state under the jurisdiction of the board;
(iii) Cease offering or rendering professional services in this state individually and on behalf of a firm in the event the commission issued by the state of the commission’s principal place of business is no longer valid or is otherwise conditioned or restricted;
(iiii) The appointment of the board or licensing authority, which issued its license, as the agent upon whom process may be served in any action or proceeding by the board against the licensee; and
(v) Perform only those services within the scope of practice authorized by the state of the licensee's principal place of business.
(3) An individual practicing pursuant to this section and who performs services in this state, or an individual practicing pursuant to this section and who performs services for an entity with its home office in this state, may only provide the following services through a firm registered under section 5461 (a) & (b) of this chapter:
(i) Caretaking for legally medicinal patients
(4) An individual who qualifies for practice privileges under this section and who performs services for which a firm registration is required shall not be required to obtain a license from this state.
(5) A licensee of this state offering or rendering services or using its title in another jurisdiction shall be subject to disciplinary action in this state for acts of unprofessional conduct committed in another jurisdiction that would otherwise subject the licensee to discipline in this state. The board has the authority to investigate complaints made by persons of another state.
(6) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an individual who performs professional services pursuant to this section shall not be assessed a fee or be required to provide notice to the board.
(e) Venues and establishments
(1) Venues and establishments must have a current firm registration ID and be compliant with all current sections of 5471-5475 in Subchapter 6 ;
(2) Firms must employ at least 1 commissioned steward for every 3 full-time employees unless waivered appeals are approved by the board and Office.
(i) Only commissioned stewards can conduct transactions and generate legal certificates of transaction or record;
(3) Permitted venues and establishments must meet existing local zoning and municipal ordinances;
(4) Restaurants, café’s, nightclubs, and bars. Commissioned stewards have the authority to certify transactions where infused foods and beverages are consumed on the spot. Smoke and vaping applications are at the discretion of the steward and the board with respect to permissible separation of spaces for opt-in applications of consumption;
(5) Social clubs, halls, churches, and private community gathering spaces- commissioned stewards have the authority to certify all transactions where infused foods and beverages are consumed on the spot. Smoke and vaping applications are permitted without separation of spaces for opt-in applications of consumption required and at the discretion of the steward;
(6) Outdoor public spaces- Stewards will have the responsibility of establishing reasonable practices that do not infringe on the public. Consumption in public spaces outside of these venue and establishments is subject to local municipal ordinances. Stewards may practice on State and Town public lands (e.g., guided backcountry wellness treks on State Forest) where reasonable standards have been met to not nuisance or burden other public guests on these lands and per board oversight of 5432, may revoke a license for questionable practices or further subject a steward to penalties under 5437 relative to unprofessional conduct if found to be significant.
§ 5462. Cultivation & growing
Stewards are allowed to cultivate all approved drug substances in section 4302 of this chapter.
(a) No quantity caps exist; all stewards are responsible for the entirety of their yields.
(1) Loss, theft and vandalization must be properly notified to the Agency of Agriculture and local authorities.
(b) The Office requires a complete and current cultivation plan with quantities of plants, size of indoor & outdoor grows in square feet, acreage, or commonly accepted units of measurement to communicate cultivation plans.
(c) All production and yields are recorded with the Agency of Agriculture and tracked from seed to sale as yields move around from sanctioned CS’s and CS Firms to the consumer in a regulated market.
§ 5463. Authorized transportation and handling procedures
(a) Stewards may transport and handle all approved drug substances in section 5402 of this chapter.
(b) Specific standards include: <developed in committee>
§ 5464. Authorized manufacturing and production standards
(a) Stewards may manufacture and produce all approved drug substances in section 5402 of this chapter.
(b) Technical standards include: <developed in committee>
§ 5465. Authorized testing standards for stewards
(a) Stewards are required to transact with only other State commissioned stewards when receiving all regulated substances under section 5402 of this chapter; where transactions include these substances, only products that have be tested for potency and quality control through State commissioned and licensed stewardship firms, collectives, or individual stewards.
(b) Technical standards include: <developed in committee>
§ 5466. Additional settings, handling, and testing fees
(a) Stewards are authorized to handle all regulated substances under section 5402 of this chapter and distribute these products and related services in any authorized and licensed setting.
(b) The testing provenance is used by stewards to electronically (or traditionally where not possible) account for the quality and potency of the testing for each transaction. Collectives and cooperatives may implement any number of testing criteria and standards as found in sections 5481 & 5482 of this Chapter.
(c) Testing fees not greater than 5% of the wholesale value of the product being tested.
§ 5467. Appellations
(a) The board, working with the community, will focus continued research and development on producing an inventory map that highlights the various characteristics of Vermont appellations with respect to the plants, roots, and fungi harvested and relative to the available soil, light, water, and other natural factors that create distinctions in flavor and profile qualities.
(b) Regional farmer markets, farm shows, and agricultural events may choose to profile these agricultural appellations or they may choose to enforce standards of public place limiting these components of the agricultural landscape in keeping with all current Vermont statutes.
§ 5468. Assignment of cultivation rights
(a) A legal individual that is not a steward may assign all or some of their rights to cultivate cannabis plants to another individual to cultivate the cannabis on their behalf for a period of time, with or without compensation. The assignee shall not cultivate for more than ten individuals. The assignee shall distribute any cannabis harvested from the plants to the assignor or other assignors for whom the assignee cultivates in accordance with an agreement by the parties.
(b) The number of plants the assignor cultivates in accordance with this section shall not affect the individual’s rights to cultivate up to two mature and four immature cannabis plants for personal use in compliance with this chapter.
(c) An individual that is not a commissioned steward in possession of a number of plants in excess of the limitations provided in this section, or elsewhere in Act 86 shall be subject to the civil and criminal penalties provided in this chapter.
(d) Prior to cultivating cannabis plants pursuant to this section, an individual shall register with the Agency of Agriculture as a cultivator, which will also be recorded with the Office. It will not afford this individual the rights to the CS or CS Firm title and shall be subject to the civil and criminal penalties provided in this chapter.
(e) Individuals must comply with basic recordkeeping and inspection obligations as required by the Agency.
(f) The Agency of Agriculture may adopt rules in accordance with this section.
Subchapter 6: Public Safety, Environmental Standards, and Property
§ 5471. Stewardship responsibilities to public safety
All commissioned stewards are responsible to the public around them.
(a) Failure to comply with professional responsibility to public safety is enforceable under section 5432 of this chapter.
§ 5472. Environmental standards
All commissioned stewards are responsible for having a highly defensible environmental standards plan in place before any transactions occur. This plan should be filed and on record with the Office and attached to the venue or establishment’s registration ID. All practicing stewards in an establishment or venue must be aware of these location-specific environmental standards and must also have a personal environmental standards plan in place if cultivating, handling, transporting, and processing material permitted in 5402 of Subchapter 1.
(a) No poisons or pesticides shall be used. <technical debates in committees?>
(b) Water and energy consumption metrics required as part of the security and operations plan in section 5471.
(c) Statewide water pollution and nutrient load monitoring data kept by the Agency of Agriculture for all registered cultivation, processing, and manufacturing and production operations.
§ 5473. Marketing of stewardship acts
(a) No marketing of stewardship acts will target children or underage markets.
(b) Marketing will generally adhere to the American Marketing Association’s three-tier hierarchy for professional marketers.
1. Do no harm. This means consciously avoiding harmful actions or omissions by embodying high ethical standards and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations in choices made,
2. Foster trust in the marketing system. This means striving for good faith and fair dealing so as to contribute toward the efficacy of the exchange process as well as avoiding deception in product design, pricing, communication, and delivery of distribution.
3. Embrace ethical values. This means building relationships and enhancing consumer confidence in the integrity of marketing by affirming these core values: honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency, and citizenship.
(c) Failure to comply with professional responsibility to public safety is enforceable under section 5432 of this chapter.
§ 5474. Packaging, recycling, & sustainability requirements
(a) Stewards will seek to reduce single-use packaging waste from the practice wherever possible;
(b) All waste products will be disposed of appropriately and in keeping with the security and operations plans of the venue, establishment, firm stewards are working in.
§ 5475. Security and operations planning
All commissioned stewards are responsible for having a highly defensible security and operations plan in place before any transactions occur. This plan should be filed and on record with the Office and attached to the venue or establishment’s registration ID. All practicing stewards in an establishment must be aware of these location-specific protocols and must also have personal security and operations plans in place if cultivating, handling, and processing drugs permitted in 5402 of Subchapter 1.
§ 5476. Development & monitoring of informational programs pertaining to
stewardship acts and activities within the Agency of Education
The goal of this program is to improve wellness of underage participants and ensure a sustainable model is achieved that does not promote the recreational side of drugs regulated in this Title. These programs must also NOT promote the stigma of medicinal uses among students and underage medicinal recipients. This Act does license stewards (including and open to teachers, nurses, and teaching assistants) but it does not a implement medicinal treatments of youth where other Vermont laws
(a) the board in conjunction with the community and the Agency of Education will develop an informational program pertaining to stewardship acts and legal activities within State government;
(b) the board will monitor engagement metrics for this program to assess effectiveness for future adaptations of content;
(c) the board will share these metrics and reports with the Agency of Education and make available transparently to the public on a quarterly basis.
§ 5477. Development & monitoring of data metrics for collection and program
(a) the board in conjunction with the community and the legislative Government Operations Committees will develop a set of metrics pertaining to stewardship acts and legal activities within State government.
(b) the board will monitor these program metrics on this program to assess effectiveness for future adaptations of content for improved wellness of underage participants in this program.
§ 5478. Confidential communications
(a) No firm or any of its employees or other stewards engaged by the firm, shall disclose any confidential information obtained in the course of a professional engagement except with the consent of the client or former client or as disclosure may be required by law, legal process, or the standards of the profession.
(b) This section does not limit the authority of this state or of the United States to subpoena and use information in connection with any investigation, or proceedings. This section does not prohibit a steward whose professional competence has been challenged in a court or before an administrative agency from disclosing confidential information as a part of a defense.
(c) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a firm or any of its employees, from disclosing any data to other stewards, peer review teams, or partnerships or corporations of stewards engaged in conducting peer reviews under the auspices of a recognized professional association, or any of their employees, in connection with peer reviews of the steward’s professional competence, conduct, performance, and consulting practices.
(d) Nothing contained in this chapter prohibits a firm or any of its employees, from disclosing any data in confidence to any representative of a recognized professional association, to the Office, Director, or to the board in connection with a professional ethics investigation or in the course of a peer review.
§ 5479. Ownership of working papers and rights of privacy
(a) All statements, records, schedules, receipts, working papers, and memoranda made by a stewardship transaction to or in the course of professional services to clients, except reports submitted by a steward to a client, are the property of the steward. However, an express agreement between the steward and the client to the contrary shall take precedence over this subsection.
(b) No statement, record, schedule, receipt, working paper, or memorandum shall be sold, transferred, or bequeathed, without the consent of the client or their personal representative or assignee, to anyone other than one or more surviving partners or new partners of the steward or to their firm or any combined or merged partnership or successor in interest to the partnership.
(c) Original copies of client documents in the possession of the licensee are the property of the client, and must be returned to the client upon request.
Subchapter 7: Stewardship Collectives & Cooperatives
§ 5481. Authorized collectives & collaborative organizations of standards Collectives of registered stewards can collaborate without the legal structures of a firm as defined in Subchapter 5.
(a) The membership may be comprised of stewards and non-stewards with one primary steward named as administrative lead. All stewards associated with the collective or cooperative will be on record with the Office and subject to full board review;
(b) Cultivation, processing, and handling of all drugs and related drug products is pursuant to Subchapter 5 of this Title;
(c) Tax rates and financial reporting for non-profit collectives will be applicable under all existing State and Federal law;
§ 5482. Regulatory accountability and exceptions of collectives and cooperatives
Section 5465 of this Title directs the testing standards for all sole proprietors and firms, however collectives and cooperatives as defined in 5481, are permitted increased autonomy of testing standards in both receiving and making transactions with the entire membership.
(a) All members must agree upon (opt-into), the testing and transactional framework of the Collective for quality assurance. These standards must be clear and directly announced to members upon application and joining. No fees will be received without making this clear in advance.
(b) Labeling and packaging requirements of 5474 can be waived by the board or Office if a sufficient alternate packaging framework is petitioned to the board and approved. The board will give greater consideration to packaging designs and experiences that increase environmental sustainability in quantifiable ways.
§ 5483. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
Additional Statute Changes:
33 V.S.A. §3504. Amended to exclude commissioned stewards
23 V.S.A. §1134. (Motor Vehicles) Unchanged
18 V.S.A. §4201. “Marijuana” changed to “Cannabis” and in all other locations.
6 V.S.A. §171. Amended to include §171(a) Any proposed grades and standards changes in any of the commodities included in 26 V.S.A. §5402 will be made by the Independent Stewardship Board along with the Agency of Agriculture.
6 V.S.A. §176. Amended to include §176(a) The Independent Stewardship Board will be advised in advance on any proposed inspections by the Agency of Agriculture and records of inspection will be maintained within the Stewardship database.
18 V.S.A. §4230e. Amended to 1)Indoor: 4 flowering & 8 Immature, 2) Outdoor: 16 total plants
6 V.S.A. §251. Amended to:
(1) “Agricultural commodity” means any agricultural commodity including: apples, horticultural crops, fruits and vegetables, poultry, maple syrup, Christmas trees, Livestock, honey, and cannabis, either in their natural state or as a processed by the producer. The term does not include milk or timber products other than Christmas trees.
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont: Sec. 1. 13 V.S.A. § 7602 is amended to read:
§ 7602. EXPUNGEMENT AND SEALING OF RECORD, POSTCONVICTION; PROCEDURE (a)(1) A person may file a petition with the court requesting expungement or sealing of the criminal history record related to the conviction if: (A) the person was convicted of a qualifying crime or qualifying crimes arising out of the same incident or occurrence; or
(B) the person was convicted of an offense for which the underlying conduct is no longer prohibited by law or designated as a criminal offense.
(2) The State’s Attorney or Attorney General shall be the respondent in the matter.
(3) The court shall grant the petition without hearing if the petitioner and the respondent stipulate to the granting of the petition. The respondent shall file the stipulation with the court, and the court shall issue the petitioner a certificate and provide notice of the order in accordance with this section.
(b)(1) The court shall grant the petition and order that the criminal history record be expunged pursuant to section 7606 of this title if the following conditions are met: (A) At least five years have elapsed since the date on which the person successfully completed the terms and conditions of the sentence for the conviction, or if the person has successfully completed the terms and conditions of an indeterminate term of probation that commenced at least five years previously.
(B) The person has not been convicted of a crime arising out of a new incident or occurrence since the person was convicted for the qualifying crime.
(C) Any restitution ordered by the court has been paid in full.
(D) The court finds that expungement of the criminal history record serves the interest of justice.
(2) The court shall grant the petition and order that all or part of the criminal history record be sealed pursuant to section 7607 of this title if the conditions of subdivisions (1)(A), (B), and (C) of this subsection are met and the court finds that:
(A) sealing the criminal history record better serves the interest of justice than expungement; and
(B) the person committed the qualifying crime after reaching 19 years of age.
(c)(1) The court shall grant the petition and order that the criminal history record be expunged pursuant to section 7606 of this title if the following conditions are met:
(A) At least 10 years have elapsed since the date on which the person successfully completed the terms and conditions of the sentence for the conviction.
(B) The person has not been convicted of a felony arising out of a new incident or occurrence since the person was convicted of the qualifying crime.
(C) The person has not been convicted of a misdemeanor during the past five years.
(D) Any restitution ordered by the court for any crime of which the person has been convicted has been paid in full.
(E) After considering the particular nature of any subsequent offense, the court finds that expungement of the criminal history record for the qualifying crime serves the interest of justice.
(2) The court shall grant the petition and order that all or part of the criminal history record be sealed pursuant to section 7607 of this title if the conditions of subdivisions (1)(A), (B), (C), and (D) of this subsection are met and the court finds that:
(A) sealing the criminal history record better serves the interest of justice than expungement; and
(B) the person committed the qualifying crime after reaching 19 years of age.
(d) For petitions filed pursuant to subdivision (a)(1)(B) of this section, or for which the qualifying crime was a misdemeanor cannabis possession conviction pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 4230, 4230a, or 4230b, unless the court finds that expungement would not be in the interest of justice, the court shall grant the petition and order that the criminal history record be expunged in accordance with section 7606 of this title if the following conditions are met:
(1) The petitioner has completed any sentence or supervision for the offense.
(2) Any restitution ordered by the court has been paid in full.
(e) For petitions filed pursuant to subdivision (a)(1)(B) of this section for a conviction for possession of a regulated drug under 18 V.S.A. chapter 84, subchapter 1 in an amount that is no longer prohibited by law or for which criminal sanctions have been removed:
(1) The petitioner shall bear the burden of establishing that their conviction was based on possessing an amount of regulated drug that is no longer prohibited by law or for which criminal sanctions have been removed.
(2) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the regulated drug specified in the affidavit of probable cause associated with the petitioner’s conviction was the amount possessed by the petitioner.
(f) Prior to granting an expungement or sealing under this section for petitions filed pursuant to subdivision 7601(4)(D) of this title, the Court shall make a finding that the conduct underlying the conviction under section 1201 of this title did not constitute a burglary into an occupied dwelling, as defined in subdivision 1201(b)(2) of this title. The petitioner shall bear the burden of establishing this fact.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
Professional Stewardship Licensing
July 1, 2019 Enactment and Board created
September 1, 2019 Board members start terms
October 15, 2019 Board hires Executive Director and admin assistant
November 15, 2019 Certification standards for Stewards announced
December 1-31, 2019 Start of quarterly (statewide/online) steward certification seminars. All first round applicants must attend these sessions.
January 15, 2020 Application period opens for Stewards
March 1, 2020 Initial stewards (individuals) and stewardship (settings/establishments) licenses issued and second round of certification seminars conducted.