Devon Deyhle, the proud owner of Tall Truck, a small-scale cannabis growing operation based in the small town of Peachham, made a costly mistake when he decided to promote his business on social media. The ambitious grower, who cultivates his plants indoors in a Tier 1 facility spanning less than 1,000 square feet, posted a video on Instagram showcasing his bountiful yield of high-quality cannabis.
Little did Devon know that this seemingly harmless promotional video would prove a costly mistake. The local authorities, who had long been keeping a close eye on the cannabis industry in the area, were alerted to Devon’s video and promptly launched an investigation.
Despite his initial excitement over the promotional video he had recorded, Devon Deyhle was ultimately forced to admit that the consequences of his actions far outweighed any benefits he may have gained. “It was a great, great video, but it wasn’t worth it,” he lamented, recognizing the gravity of his mistake.
In the unfortunate video, which was recorded in early December and has since been taken down, Deyhle can get out of his vehicle and enter a storefront in the heart of Manhattan. The problem? The store was not licensed to sell adult recreational retail cannabis, a fact that Deyhle was unaware of at the time.
As it turns out, the storefront was little more than a makeshift cannabis dispensary, complete with a smoking lounge out back. While this may have seemed like an excellent opportunity to showcase his cannabis products, Deyhle failed to consider the legal implications of his actions.
At the time when Devon Deyhle recorded his promotional video, the sale of recreational cannabis was still illegal in the state of New York. This meant that the storefront he entered to promote his products was operating without a license and outside the boundaries of the law.
It wasn’t until late December, after Deyhle had posted the video that the first licensed adult cannabis retail establishment opened in New York. This new development made it clear that the rules around cannabis sales and distribution were changing rapidly, and those who failed to keep up with these changes risked severe consequences.
In the video, Deyhle can be seen confidently touting his “little tasty treat from Vermont” as he hands over a green and yellow box of cannabis products emblazoned with the logo of his business, Tall Truck. The unsuspecting women behind the counter appear unaware of the legal implications of accepting the products, and Deyhle fails to disclose that the store is operating without a license.
Consequences of Deyhle’s Action
In a notice issued by the Vermont Cannabis Control Board, it has been stated that Deyhle was caught red-handed delivering cannabis to the Tall Truck business via video evidence available on Instagram. The notice has cited Deyhle for contributing to the illicit market in New York City by transporting cannabis illegally.
According to Deyhle, possibly opening up the market in New York City for Tall Truck was more of a publicity stunt. “I suppose I went too far in testing the waters,” he added. Unfortunately, someone reported the video to the Vermont Cannabis Control Board, and as a result, Deyhle had to pay a hefty fine of $20,000 for illegally transporting cannabis outside of Vermont. “This is a huge blow for someone like me,” he lamented.
Apart from the monetary penalty, the board had initially imposed a 60-day suspension of Deyhle’s license. Furthermore, he was slapped with an additional fine of $10,000 for reportedly providing false information to the board, explicitly denying the intention of selling cannabis outside of Vermont. On top of that, Deyhle was handed another $10,000 fine for supposedly diverting Vermont cannabis to the illegal market in New York.
However, as long as Deyhle adheres to Vermont’s cannabis regulations for the next two years, the board has decided to suspend the additional penalties. Deyhle has a philosophical approach toward the incident, stating that he is responsible for his actions and must bear the consequences of his mistakes.
Recreational Cannabis in Vermont
Vermont legalized cannabis in 2018 through the passage of H.511, a revised version of a prior bill, which ultimately became known as Act 86. This law allowed individuals aged 21 and above to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and two mature and four immature marijuana plants. However, public use of cannabis is still prohibited and restricted to areas where smoking tobacco is permitted.
Even though Vermont legalized the possession of small quantities of cannabis in 2018, recreational cannabis sales didn’t begin until 2022. cannot currently purchase cannabis products from dispensaries. In the first three months of cannabis recreational sales in Vermont, about 25 cannabis businesses got licensed and immediately began operating.
Vermont Medical Cannabis Laws
Vermont has been legally allowing the use of medical marijuana since 2004. However, patients could not access Vermont dispensaries until 2013, despite the legalization of medical marijuana.
Rather than legalizing dispensaries, SB 76 enabled qualified patients to possess up to two ounces of cannabis or cultivate one mature and two immature plants. Patients with conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, or other life-threatening or debilitating conditions were eligible for this program.
The medical marijuana laws in Vermont have undergone significant changes since the introduction of SB 76. Currently, patients can grow up to nine plants but only two mature plants at a time. The list of qualifying conditions has also expanded to include Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and PTSD. In addition, patients can purchase cannabis from one of the five operational dispensaries serving patients in Vermont.
Devon Deyhle’s ill-fated attempt at promoting his cannabis products on social media is a cautionary tale for anyone in the cannabis industry. His failure to adhere to the rapidly changing rules and regulations around cannabis production and distribution had severe consequences, underscoring the importance of staying informed and compliant in this ever-evolving industry.
As the legal landscape around cannabis continues to shift, growers and distributors must stay up-to-date on the latest guidelines and best practices to avoid the costly mistakes that Deyhle made. (Full Story)