How To Open A Dispensary In Vermont

Overview

Are you wondering how to open a dispensary in Vermont? This website will provide you with the most recent news and information pertinent to opening a cannabis business in the state of Vermont. This includes useful information about what is to come.

In Vermont, possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, as well as up to two mature and four immature plants, is legal for those over the age of 21 who are using it for medicinal or recreational purposes. However, currently, the only dispensaries that are open in Vermont are those that serve medical patients. It is anticipated that the first dispensaries catering to adults will open their doors in October of 2022.

On April 1st, 2022, the Cannabis Control Board started taking applications for recreational adult-use cannabis licenses.

Regulators failed to meet a deadline of May 1st, 2022, to begin awarding licenses to business owners who hoped to take part in Vermont’s impending market for adult-use cannabis. However, on May 16th, 2022, the state awarded its first cultivation license to a prospective applicant. Following that, further licenses were issued, and the state is still actively processing applications.

We believe more details will be released about cannabis business opportunities in Vermont. This page will continue to be updated with further information as it becomes available. Here’s the information you need to know to be ready.

Opportunity size

According to projections made by the Cannabis Control Board of the State of Vermont, the new adult-use marijuana industry in the state would generate $225 million yearly by 2025. This would result in roughly $46 million in additional state taxes.

According to the market analysis, one in six Vermonters will buy cannabis for recreational use once stores receive the go-ahead this October. Those who want to sell are now working to take advantage of the new market.

Local cannabis restrictions & laws

Vermont municipalities must opt-in to host cannabis retailers. The requirement to vote “yes” only applies to retail and the retail part of integrated licenses. It does not apply to any other types of cannabis licenses.

Just a few months before the first stores are expected to open in Vermont, almost 70 Vermont towns and cities have decided to allow cannabis to be sold in retail stores inside their borders.

Barre, Bristol, Hartford, Manchester, Milton, and Springfield were among the bigger towns that have allowed retail cannabis. Meanwhile, Castleton, Eden, Leicester, Mount Holly, and Swanton Village were among the towns and communities that voted against the measure.

Medical marijuana

In 2004, Vermont’s state legislature passed S. 76, An Act Relating to the Medical Use of Marijuana, which made it legal to use marijuana for medical purposes. Even though then-governor James Douglas didn’t sign it, the bill passed anyway. It got rid of penalties for legal possession and growing of marijuana by patients and set up the Vermont Marijuana Registry.

In order to be eligible for a medical card, a patient must live in Vermont and be affected by a debilitating medical illness. Cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, and several other diseases are considered to be debilitating.

In the state of Vermont, five medicinal dispensaries have been approved for patient registration. When there are 7,000 patients enrolled, an announcement will be made about the opening of a sixth dispensary, and applications will be accepted at that time. As of the 25th of June 2021, there were a total of 4,767 patients registered with the Vermont Marijuana Registry.

Recreational use legalization

In January of 2018, Governor Phil Scott signed H. 511, which removed penalties for people over the age of 21 who had small quantities of marijuana. The legislation, which eventually became known as Act 86, made it possible for adults to legally possess up to 1 ounce, two mature plants, and four immature plants. It is still illegal to consume cannabis in public or anywhere cigarette smoking is forbidden.

On September 15th, 2020, the Vermont House and Senate achieved a final agreement on S. 54, Vermont’s measure to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis sales. The House passed the measure in a final vote on September 17th and the Senate on September 22nd. On October 7th, S. 54 was allowed to become law without the signature of Governor Philip Scott. In addition, the legislature enacted a companion bill, S. 234, that would instantly erase cannabis convictions for low-level offenses and decriminalize slightly exceeding the legal possession and cultivation limits.

Who is responsible for the regulation of cannabis in Vermont?

Cannabis Control Board – Adult-use cannabis businesses and medicinal marijuana dispensaries would be subject to regulation and licensing by the Cannabis Control Board, which would be an independent body operating under the executive branch.

As of January 1st, 2022, the Medical Marijuana Registry has been transferred to the Cannabis Control Board from the Department of Public Safety.

Advisory Committee – In order to help the Vermont Cannabis Control Board in its objective to safely, fairly, and effectively implement and manage the laws authorizing adult and medicinal use of cannabis in the state, an Advisory Committee was established.

How to apply for a dispensary license in Vermont 

Applicants seeking a dispensary license in Vermont must submit an application in a format specified by the Board. Applications and forms must be filled out using an online portal. Applicants will be required to pay a fee in line with the fee schedule that the Board has made publicly available.

The Vermont Cannabis Control Board started accepting applications for adult-use cannabis licenses on April 1st, 2022, as previously stated.

Act 164 (2020) establishes the following schedule for the adult-use market’s implementation:

  • April 1st, 2022: License applications for integrated licensees, small cultivators, and testing laboratories start.
  • May 1st, 2022: Licenses for integrated licensees, small cultivators, and testing laboratories start being issued. License applications for cultivators also start. 
  • June 1st, 2022: Licenses for cultivators start being issued.  
  • July 1st, 2022: License applications for product manufacturers and wholesalers start.
  • August 1st, 2022: Licenses for product manufacturers and wholesalers start being issued.
  • September 1st, 2022: License applications for retailers start.
  • October 1st, 2022: Licenses for retailers start being issued.

Requirements to get a cannabis business license in New Jersey

The following are the licensing requirements for all types of cannabis business licenses:

  • Operating Plans
  • Record Checks
  • Financiers
  • Compliance and Management Plans
  • Insurance, Taxation, and Banking Requirements
  • Location Information
  • Security
  • Information Sharing with State Agencies
  • Plans Related to Positive Impact Criteria
  • Statement of Truthfulness and Accuracy

Adult-use cannabis license types

Cultivation license – People who have a license to grow cannabis can do so indoors, outdoors, or in a mix of both. This type of license has different levels based on how much the applicant wants to grow.

Manufacturer license – Manufacturer licensees can make edibles, oils, and other kinds of cannabis products from cannabis plants. This type of license has different levels based on the types of extractions that are allowed and the gross revenue made per year.

Retailer license – Retailers who have a license can sell cannabis and products made from cannabis to the general public. The general public can only buy cannabis or cannabis products from licensed retail stores or integrated licensees.

Wholesaler license – Wholesaler licensees are allowed to buy cannabis and cannabis products from other licenses and sell them to other licensees, but not to the general public.

Testing Laboratory license – Testing Laboratory licensees can test cannabis and cannabis products that have been purchased from a licensed cannabis business, dispensary, or even from a member of the general public.

Integrated license – Integrated licensees are permitted to participate in the activities associated with the other license types. The only people who can apply for these licenses are those who have a dispensary registration on April 1, 2022.

How much does it cost to open a dispensary in Vermont?

The cost of opening a dispensary in Vermont includes:

Type of Fee

Amount

License Fee

$10,000

Application & “Intent to Apply” Fees

$1,000

Cannabis Establishment Identification Cards

$50 per card

Local Licensing Fees

$100

Product Licensing

$50 per type of cannabis and cannabis product 

Other cannabis business license fees

  • Cultivation license – $750 to $34,000 depending on tier (outdoor cultivation), $1,500 to $75,000 depending on tier (indoor cultivation), $2,250 to $19,500 depending on tier (mixed cultivation)
  • Manufacturer license – $750 to $15,000 depending on tier
  • Wholesaler license – $4,000
  • Testing Laboratory license – $1,500
  • Integrated license – $100,000

*Licensing fees are paid once a year.

Social Equity Applicants Fee

“Social equity applicant” indicates someone who is black or Hispanic, from a community disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition, has been jailed for a cannabis-related crime, or has a family member who has been incarcerated for a cannabis-related offense.

For the first year that a social equity applicant is licensed, they are not required to pay any costs for the license or the application. The cost of obtaining a license drops with each passing year. In Year 2, the licensee is responsible for paying 25% of the charge. In Year 3, they are responsible for paying 50% of the price. In Year 4, they are responsible for paying 75% of the fee. Finally, in Year 5, the licensee is responsible for paying the complete fee.

As the state’s cannabis program evolves, we will keep you informed of any news and legislation about the establishment of a dispensary in Vermont. By subscribing to our Vermont Cannabis Mailing List (below), we will keep you informed of any significant news and commentary relevant to the legalization of cannabis in Vermont including:

  • What is the cost of opening a dispensary in Vermont?
  • What are the requirements for obtaining a license to operate a marijuana company and opening a dispensary in Vermont?
  • What special programs will be offered?
  • And more…

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