Introduced by Representative Koch of Barre Town
Subject: Regulated drugs; ephedrine; pseudoephedrine
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to place limits on selling, dispensing, and possessing precursor drugs of methamphetamine such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.
AN ACT RELATING TO PRECURSOR DRUGS OF METHAMPHETAMINE
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 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 nine or more grams of 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) Except as provided in subdivision (2)(B) of this subsection, there shall be a permissive inference that a person who possesses a drug product containing nine or more grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, intends to use the product as a precursor to methamphetamine or another controlled substance.
(B) The permissive inference established by subdivision (2)(A) of this subsection shall not apply to the following persons lawfully possessing drug products in the course of legitimate business:
(i) A retail distributor of drug products.
(ii) A wholesale distributor of drug products or its agents licensed by the board of pharmacy.
(iii) A manufacturer of drug products, or its agents, licensed by the board of pharmacy.
(iv) A pharmacist licensed by the board of pharmacy.
(v) A licensed health care professional possessing the drug products in the course of carrying out his or her profession.
(3) A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $100,000.00, or both.
(b) Selling and dispensing.
(1) A compound, mixture, or preparation containing any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers shall not be distributed at retail to the general public unless it is:
(A) sold or dispensed in a pharmacy by a licensed pharmacist or a licensed pharmacy technician; and
(B) maintained in a pharmacy in a locked display case or behind the counter out of the public’s reach.
(2)(A) A pharmacy shall not dispense to a person within a 30‑day period any drug product or combination of drug products containing nine or more grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers.
(B) This subdivision shall not apply to drug products dispensed pursuant to a valid prescription.
(3)(A) A pharmacy 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 photo identification showing the person’s date of birth; and
(ii) sign a written 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.
(B) A wholesaler, manufacturer, or distributor of drug products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers shall obtain a registration annually from the Vermont criminal information center. The wholesaler, manufacturer, or distributor shall keep complete records of all transactions involving drug products subject to this subdivision, including the name of each party and the amount of each drug product involved in the transaction.
(C) The records required by this subdivision shall be:
(i) readily retrievable and separate from all other invoices or records of transactions;
(ii) maintained for not less than three years; and
(iii) submitted each week to the Vermont criminal information center in an electronic format designated by the center.
(4) A person or business which violates this subdivision shall:
(A) for a first violation be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.
(B) for a second and subsequent violation be imprisoned for not more than ten years or fined not more than $250,000.00, or both.
(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.
(d) 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:
(1) is not used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine or other regulated drugs; and
(2) has been formulated to prevent effectively the conversion of the product’s active ingredient into methamphetamine.
(e) As used in this section:
(1) “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.
(2) “Manufacturer” means a person who produces, compounds, packages, or in any manner initially prepares a drug product for sale or use.
(3) “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.
(4) “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.
The Vermont General Assembly
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