The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 18: Health

Chapter 84: POSSESSION AND CONTROL OF REGULATED DRUGS

Sub-Chapter 01: Regulated Drugs

18 V.S.A. § 4234b. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine



§ 4234b. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine

(a) Possession.

(1) No person shall knowingly and unlawfully possess a drug product containing ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base 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 base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base, 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 base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base, be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $100,000.00, or both.

(b) Sale.

(1) A drug product containing ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base 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 complete a sale to a person if the drug product or combination of drug products purchased would surpass a total of more than 3.6 grams within a 24-hour period or nine grams within a 30-day period of ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base or their isomers.

(B) This subdivision shall not apply to drug products dispensed pursuant to a valid prescription.

(3) 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; and

(B) for a second and subsequent violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $500.00.

Subsection (c) effective until September 30, 2016; see also subsection (c) effective September 30, 2016 set out below.

(c) Electronic registry system.

(1)(A) Retail establishments shall use an electronic registry system to record the sale of products made pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The electronic registry system shall have the capacity to block a sale of nonprescription drug products containing ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base that would result in a purchaser exceeding the lawful daily or monthly amount. The system shall contain an override function that may be used by an agent of a retail establishment who is dispensing the drug product and who has a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm to his or her person or to another person if the transaction is not completed. The system shall create a record of each use of the override mechanism.

(B) The electronic registry system shall be available free of charge to the State of Vermont, retail establishments, and local law enforcement agencies.

(C) The electronic registry system shall operate in real time to enable communication among in-State users and users of similar systems in neighboring states.

(D) The State shall use the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) online portal or its equivalent to host Vermont's electronic registry system.

(2)(A) Prior to completing a sale under subsection (b) of this section, a retail establishment shall require the person purchasing the drug product to present a current, valid, government-issued identification document. The retail establishment shall record in the electronic registry system:

(i) the name and address of the purchaser;

(ii) the name of the drug product and quantity of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine base sold in grams;

(iii) the date and time of purchase;

(iv) the form of identification presented, the issuing government entity, and the corresponding identification number; and

(v) the name of the person selling or furnishing the drug product.

(B)(i) If the retail establishment experiences an electronic or mechanical failure of the electronic registry system and is unable to comply with the electronic recording requirement, the retail establishment shall maintain a written log or an alternative electronic record-keeping mechanism until the retail establishment is able to comply fully with this subsection (c).

(ii) If the region of the State where the retail establishment is located does not have broadband Internet access, the retail establishment shall maintain a written log or an alternative electronic record-keeping mechanism until broadband Internet access becomes accessible to that region. At that time, the retail establishment shall come into compliance with this subsection (c).

(C) A retail establishment shall maintain all records of drug product purchases made pursuant to this subsection (c) for a minimum of two years.

(3) A retail establishment shall display a sign at the register provided by NPLEx or its equivalent to notify purchasers of drug products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine base that:

(A) the purchase of the drug product or products shall result in the purchaser's identity being listed on a national database; and

(B) the purchaser has the right to request the transaction number for any purchase that was denied pursuant to this subsection (c).

(4) Except as provided in subdivision (5) of this subsection (c), a person or retail establishment that violates this subsection shall:

(A) for a first violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00; and

(B) for a second or subsequent violation be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $500.00.

Subsection (c) effective September 30, 2016; see also subsection (c) effective until September 30, 2016 set out above.

(c) [Repealed.]

(d) This section shall not apply to a manufacturer that has obtained an exemption from the Attorney General of the United States under Section 711(d) of the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.

(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) "Knowingly" means having actual knowledge of the relevant facts.

(3) "Manufacturer" means a person who produces, compounds, packages, or in any manner initially prepares a drug product for sale or use.

(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. (Added 2005, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Sept. 30, 2006; amended 2013, No. 75, § 19, eff. Oct. 1, 2013; 2013, No. 75, § 19a, eff. Sept. 30, 2016.)