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Vermont Opens Its First Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Oct 03, 2022   

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Recreational cannabis is now legally available to the people of Vermont.

On October 1, three dispensaries in the state began selling adult-use marijuana to long lines of eager customers.

The Green Mountain state

Vermont legalized medical cannabis in 2004, but recreational legalization has had a more protracted process. The state’s governor fully legalized personal possession of the drug in 2018, but retail access wasn’t mandated.

Only this year, four years on from that legalization, have adult-use dispensaries been allowed to open, following the passing of another bill in 2020.

Certain medical cannabis dispensaries were supposed to begin selling adult-use products this May, but the state’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) hadn’t issued any licenses by the May 1 deadline.

Now, the first two wholly recreational retailers in the state have finally opened: FLORA Cannabis (based in Middlebury) and Mountain Girl Cannabis (based in Rutland). The existing medical cannabis dispensary Ceres Collaborative (located in Burlington) has also been licensed to sell adult-use products.

A fourth business has reportedly been licensed but hasn’t yet opened its doors.

“Today’s license approvals mark a historic moment for Vermont that is decades in the making,” James Pepper, chair of the Vermont CCB, said in a statement.

“We would not be here without the tireless dedication of cannabis advocates, the legislature, our agency partners, and most importantly the CCB staff.”

In their statement, Pepper and his colleagues acknowledged that the state’s retail rollout has had its pitfalls and many applicants, particularly outdoor cultivators, are still waiting for their licenses.

“The CCB’s licensing team remains hard at work reviewing applications for all license types, and the Board will continue to approve them on a rolling basis,” the CCB wrote.

“This market will take time to equalize, but with today’s licensing decisions, we have taken an important step towards creating something that can truly benefit Vermonters.”

 

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