Legal sales of recreational weed begin in Vermont
Vermont joined 14 other states across the country last weekend when the first dispensaries across the state opened on Saturday, October 1.
Vermont dispensaries are finally ready to start selling legal recreational marijuana to adult consumers aged 21 and over, but there is one caveat – there are only three dispensaries in the entire state that have received the necessary permissions to begin sales.
Vermont, which is currently home to over 624,000 residents according to the 2020 census, will have dispensaries opening in Middlebury, Rutland, and Burlington, with a fourth dispensary licensed, but not ready for sales. The state’s Cannabis Control Board even prioritized review and waved state licensing fees for Black and Hispanic applicants or applicants who live in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.
More than 30 social equity applicants have been approved as growers, but only Mountain Girl Cannabis owners Ana and Josh MacDuff have been approved on the retail side. While the dispensary owners anticipate they will have enough supply to remain open, growers are frustrated with the timeline of their licensees.
The Cannabis Control Board was tasked with both setting regulations and reviewing applicants for both growers and sellers. Growers were under the impression that they would be approved by May, giving them enough time to establish their business and begin the process. Unfortunately, that was not the case and, with the growing season essentially over, many growers are still waiting for their right to start growing.
The industry may be off to a rocky start, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. The recreational marijuana market is relatively new in the country, with a few exceptions, and legislators are still figuring out the best path to regulating the new product. Experts in Vermont are more concerned with rolling out a safe and equitable recreational marijuana program and hardly see a slow rollout as an obstacle.