AN ACT RELATING TO PRECURSOR DRUGS OF METHAMPHETAMINE
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:
§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION
(a) A judicial bureau is created within the judicial branch under the supervision of the supreme court.
(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:
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under subdivision 658(c)(1) of Title 7, relating to an employee of a second
class licensee selling alcohol to a minor during a compliance check
(11) violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4234b(b), relating to selling and dispensing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers.
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Sec. 2. 18 V.S.A. § 4234b is added to read:
§ 4234b. EPHEDRINE AND PSEUDOEPHEDRINE
(1) No person shall knowingly and unlawfully possess a drug product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, with the intent to use the product as a precursor to manufacture methamphetamine or another controlled substance.
(2) A person who violates this subsection shall:
(A) if the offense involves possession of less than nine grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both;
(B) if the offense involves possession of nine or more grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $100,000.00, or both.
(b) Selling and dispensing.
(1) A drug product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, shall not be distributed at retail to the general public unless it is maintained in a locked display case or behind the counter out of the public’s reach.
(2)(A) A retail establishment shall not knowingly dispense to a person within a 30‑day period any drug product or combination of drug products containing a total of nine or more grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers.
(B) A retail establishment shall not knowingly dispense to a person within a 24-hour period any drug product or combination of drug products containing a total of more than 3.6 grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers.
(C) This subdivision shall not apply to drug products dispensed pursuant to a valid prescription.
(3)(A) A retail establishment shall require that a person who purchases, receives, or otherwise acquires any compound, mixture, or preparation containing any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers:
(i) produce a government-issued identification; and
(ii) sign a written or electronic log or receipt showing the person’s name, the date of the transaction, and the amount of the compound, mixture, or preparation involved in the transaction, if the amount is greater than 1.44 grams.
(B) The records required by this subdivision shall be readily retrievable and separate from all other invoices or records of transactions and maintained for not less than three years.
(4) A person or business which violates this subdivision shall:
(A) for a first violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00.
(B) for a second and subsequent violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $500.00.
(c) This section shall not apply to any compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing pseudoephedrine which are in liquid, liquid capsule, or gel capsule form if pseudoephedrine is not the only active ingredient, unless the commissioner adopts a rule making this section applicable to those forms after finding that there is a risk that such products may be used as precursors to methamphetamine.
(d)(1) A manufacturer may apply to the commissioner of health to exempt a drug product from this section. The commissioner may grant the exemption if the commissioner finds the product:
(A) is not used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine or other regulated drugs; or
(B) has been formulated to prevent the conversion of the product’s active ingredient into methamphetamine.
(2) The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this subsection.
(e) As used in this section:
(1) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of health.
(2) “Distributor” means a person, other than a manufacturer or wholesaler, who sells, delivers, transfers, or in any manner furnishes a drug product to any person who is not the ultimate user or consumer of the product.
(3) “Knowingly” means having actual knowledge of the relevant facts.
(4) “Manufacturer” means a person who produces, compounds, packages, or in any manner initially prepares a drug product for sale or use.
(5) “Readily retrievable” means available for inspection without prior notice at the registration address if that address is within the state of Vermont. If the registration address is in a state other than Vermont, it means records must be furnished within three working days.
(6) “Wholesaler” means a person, other than a manufacturer, who sells, transfers, or in any manner furnishes a drug product to any other person for the purpose of being resold.
Sec. 3. EDUCATION PROGRAM; TREATMENT AVAILABILITY
(a) The department of health shall develop a publicity and education program to explain the need for change in public access to methamphetamine precursors. The program shall include, at a minimum the following components:
(1) The publication of brochures and posters explaining the dangers of methamphetamine, the requirements of this act, and the need for placing restrictions on public access to methamphetamine precursors and for requiring that a log be signed when the precursors are purchased. The department shall make the brochures published pursuant to this subsection available to the public. The posters published pursuant to this subsection shall be made available to all retail establishments which make methamphetamine precursors available for sale.
(2) A coalition to educate the public and disseminate information about methamphetamine and its precursors, to evaluate current treatment opportunities for individuals abusing methamphetamine, and to recommend legislative changes to combat the dangers posed by methamphetamine abuse and production.
(b) On or before January 15, 2007, the department shall report on the status and components of the education program developed pursuant to this section and on the coalition’s evaluation of treatment opportunities for methamphetamine and recommendations for legislative action to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare.
Sec. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on September 1, 2006.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street