Over 30 Businesses Already Seeking to Sell Recreational Marijuana in Vermont


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NBC Boston

Vermont became the latest New England state to roll out recreational, adult-use marijuana sales at the start of October, representing a culmination of months of work on the part of individual businesses and the state agency charged with overseeing the budding industry.

And although there were just three retailers licensed to sell recreational weed to adults Oct. 1, that number is poised to potentially grow by up to 10 times and perhaps even more than that in the years to come.

A little over a week after the rollout date, the Vermont Cannabis Control Board is working on processing over 30 more applications from businesses that want to sell adult-use pot, and more retailers are getting ready to open their doors.

How Did the Initial Rollout Go?

The legal sales of recreational marijuana in the Green Mountain state kicked off smoothly and to strong demand, according to the Vermont Cannabis Control Board.

“There was one (retailer) in Rutland, one in Middlebury and one in Burlington as well,” Nellie Marvel, outreach and education manager for the state agency, said in an interview. “Staff and board members either drove by or visited all three of those stores, and we did see lines outside.”

Despite a launch that was apparently pretty smooth all around, there are some supply shortages that are impacting retailers and customers, according to Marvel. There are only six manufacturers in the state that are licensed to create things like gummies and other edibles, Marvel said, so the majority of the product that’s been in stores for the rollout is flower.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time for this market to fully equalize and find its footing,” Marvel said. “We anticipate some supply chain issues in these first few weeks the market is open. We have licensed more than 270 various different cannabis establishments throughout Vermont and the majority of those are cultivators.”

Marvel expects that issue to resolve as the agency continues to work through applications it’s processing for more marijuana businesses to open in the state.

More in the Pipeline?

In the coming weeks and months, more businesses are preparing to open their doors for consumers to buy recreational weed.

The state’s Cannabis Control Board has over 30 applications for retail sales that have been submitted by businesses are in the process of being looked over. Those applications are from established dispensaries and new businesses alike.

“They vary as far as degree of doneness on their applications,” Marvel explained. “They’ve all been submitted to the board. Some have been submitted and are fairly complete and are really perhaps just waiting on a sight visit from one of our compliance agents.”

Other applications are in need of more work, which Marvel says are getting attention from staff at the control board.

Applications range in location around the state and in a wide array of communities, and expectedly have a slightly larger concentration in more urban areas. Communities must opt-in for retail sales, in accordance with state law.

Vermont Bud Barn Prepares to Open

Vermont Bud Barn, in West Brattleboro, is putting the final touches on its retail business before opening its doors for recreational sales.

Owner Scott Sparks said he got his retail license in the mail last Monday, two days after the first say of sales, and is aiming for an Oct. 17 opening.

“For someone my age, who had to run and hide in the woods and be afraid if you had a joint on your body or in your car, this is a really cool time,” Sparks said. “Just really excited to be a part of this.”

Sparks, who is 65, has already been in the cannabis business for several years. He opened Vermont Hempicurean nearly five years ago, selling CBD products at his physical location as well as online. He moved locations to a big red barn in West Brattleboro in February of 2022, and he expanded his business by opening Vermont Grow Barn under the same roof, offering cannabis-growing supplies. Vermont Bud Barn will be at the same location once it opens up.

Countertops at Bud Barn in Brattleboro, Vermont

Scott Sparks

“We’re in the process of getting our employees their FBI background checks,” Sparks said in an interview with NECN last week. “The other thing is finalizing things like banking…The rest is just some final touches on the store itself.”

Sparks has also had to work on getting some “major” security systems into place. He hopes that his contacts within the cannabis business will help him to avoid any supply issues during the first few months of opening.

“Quite a few of what I’ll call the top tier producers have come to us and have said we can s…

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