Vermont Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS VERMONT’S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 03/30/2022
In January of 2022, the Medical Marijuana Registry within the Vermont Department of Public Safety now falls under the jurisdiction of the Cannabis Control Board. The Cannabis Control Board’s mission is to ensure that patients and caregivers have access to the existing Medical Cannabis Program services. The Medical Cannabis Program staff reviews and processes applications, issuing registry identification cards to residents and evaluating the compliance of registered dispensaries.
Additionally, in late February 2022, Vermont extended the number of towns where retail sales of cannabis will be permitted to anyone 21 and older. One of the largest communities within Vermont, Essex, voted to approve the sale of recreational cannabis, along with other smaller municipalities. This effort is to increase the number of dispensaries and therefore the access to cannabis products.
WHAT ARE VERMONT’S CANNABIS LAWS?
Both medical and recreational cannabis are legalized in Vermont. The medical market was established in 2004 despite the lack of Governor Douglas’s signature. Today patients can purchase tax-exempt cannabis from their designated dispensary. Once recreational sales begin (expected to start October 2022), users will be able to purchase flower that doesn’t have more than 30% THC, concentrates that don’t have more than 60% THC, edibles that have up to 50 milligrams per container with servings containing 5 milligrams, and unflavored vape pen cartridges.
As of October 7th 2020, Senate Bill 234 was signed into law requiring the automatic expungement of all cannabis possession offenses. Additionally, the legislature decriminalized the possession of up to 2 ounces of dried flower, 10 grams of hashish, four mature plants, and eight immature plants with a $100 fine for the first offense.
WHAT IS VERMONT’S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Vermont closed the application submission process on March 10, 2022 and employees of the Medical Cannabis Program will review submitted applications for eligibility.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN VERMONT?
Cannabis legalization was in the works within Vermont for almost 15 years, with advocates recognizing the medicinal benefits long before many other states. In 2004, Senate Bill 76, An Act Relating to the Medical Use of Marijuana passed allowing patients to grow cannabis within the privacy of their residence.
In 2018, House Bill 511 was signed into law by Governor Scott which eliminated penalties for up to one ounce of dried flowers, two mature plants, and four immature plants. The bill became law under Act 86.
Most recently, in 2020, Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 54 into law making cannabis legal for recreational use. The law focuses on providing licenses to smaller cultivators with a focus on minority owned groups. Local municipalities will have the ultimate authority on determining if they will allow adult use facilities within their borders.
Sales for the Medical Cannabis Program reached $20 million in 2018 but the market has since then seen a decrease in patient enrollment and sale numbers. Many blame the state's allowance for home grow as the deterring factor.
DOES VERMONT HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
In Vermont, hemp is considered an “agricultural product” when grown by an individual that is registered with Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets as part of its pilot program. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has opened Hemp Program registration for 2022.
PREPARING FOR THE VERMONT CANNABIS MARKET
We are ready to support your team as you prepare for cannabis licensure in Vermont. Although the current application process has closed, the Vermont cannabis market will only continue to grow. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.