Editorial: Gratitude and Looking to the Future of Vermont’s Hemp and Cannabis Community

Monica Donovan 15 Sep 2017

We’re eternally thankful to all of the sponsors, speakers, exhibitors and supporters that took a calculated risk and joined us for the inaugural Hemp Fest, which we now (after catching up on some sleep) fully understand to be a landmark event in our little state of Vermont.

At the start of the planning Vermont Hemp Fest, we had a loose vision of what we wanted to accomplish: to bring Vermont hemp entrepreneurs, farmers, experts and supporters together under under one roof, and to let them make their own magic. 

What we saw on Saturday, September 9 vastly exceeded expectations. Overwhelming positivity, expertise and enthusiasm rang clear throughout the weekend’s events, confirming what we already suspected: Vermont is ready to take on the hemp industry, on its own terms. 

What struck us the most, on top of abundant zeal for the plant itself, was the diversity of the hundreds of people there. We had over 500 attendees, 36 tables, and over 40 different businesses represented. Octogenarian dairy farmers, doctorate-holding experts in their fields, seasoned business people, millennial entrepreneurs, medical patients and a multitude of other Vermont-y types filled the rooms of Burke Mountain, abuzz with an energetic exchange of knowledge.

Moving forward, we have an upcoming legislative session where we’ll no doubt see another round of table tennis-style legislative efforts; exciting new expansions in Vermont’s medical marijuana industry that will likely inform the future of adult use cannabis; and further entrepreneurial endeavors into the industry that we hope will be even more evident in the state’s first cannabis trade show this coming May, the Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention in Burlington. 

The success of Vermont Hemp Fest is a milestone for certain. More importantly, though, it’s a clear and collective message from Vermonters: We’re ready. Onward!

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