Harrington: The Vermont Hemp Registry Has Doubled in the Last Five Months As Interest, Investment, Hit New Highs

CBD hemp plants on display at the Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention at the DoubleTree Hilton in Burlington on Saturday, May 12 2018. by Erin Doble for Heady Vermont
Heady Vermont Staff 24 May 2018

Whatever Vermont may be missing without a way to sell, tax, and regulate THC, the state’s industrial hemp program — fueled by CBD — is growing exponentially and is already making an impact on the Vermont agricultural economy.

A few very well-informed statements about the current status of cultivation of Industrial Hemp in Vermont in late May, 2018:

Vermont is presently the easiest state in the United States of America in which you can legally cultivate Industrial Hemp. It’s a $25 annual fee via the Agency of Agriculture with no minimum or maximum acreage or residency requirement.

With Industrial Hemp defined as any cannabis with less than .3% THC, it’s basically free — from a licensing standpoint — to grow high value CBD cannabis in Vermont. It’s also free, from a licensing standpoint, to process CBD flower into CBD oil into CBD products.

The word is out about the aforementioned two facts and the total number of industrial hemp registrants in Vermont has more than doubled in the past five months alone.

The State of Vermont is presently in the process of making significant changes to how Industrial Hemp is regulated. Stay tuned to Heady Vermont to learn and join us at the Vermont Hemp Fest to stay up to date on the details about how product testing, importation and certification of genetics, and hemp processing 

The level of investment into the Vermont CBD hemp landscape is also increasing exponentially. It’s not a brag — circumstance of this position — but I can point to at least three present and near-future CBD farms and businesses with seven-figure investments/investors behind them. For me it’s hard to describe them individually or negatively as corporate boogeyman/woman as all are making significant investments into Vermont agriculture.

Is it a bad thing if a Vermont farmer or landowner rents an acre for $5,000 per month to an out-of-state investor instead of haying it? Is that extra income and more productive land somehow a negative outcome if someone wealthier makes more money from that land but the farmer makes some?

The non-philosophical point is that Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and plenty of other big fi$h are swimming in the Vermont hemp pond. Don’t worry, there are also a significant percentage of OG growers making moves in the Vermont cannabis scene.

Another indicator in favor of a robust hemp situation in Vermont: longtime political operatives — including Republicans and former representatives who voted against THC legalization — are getting involved and treating the hemp industry like…an industry. Want to know how cannabis normalization really happens? M-O-N-E-Y.

Save the date now for Vermont Hemp Fest, September 7-9, 2018 and book your stay now at Burke Mountain Hotel where you can save by reserving online using the code ‘HFEST’.


Hempire State: In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been an enthusiastic supporter of the state’s industrial hemp program and in the past year, the Empire State has announced several huge initiatives to promote hemp in New York, including $10 million in grant funding, including $5 million for an Industrial Hemp Processors Grant Fund.

Just like beer and cheese, Vermont does it better. 

Those initiatives are clearly working as Ganjapreneur’s TG Branfalt recently reported that New York’s hemp research program is expanding to more than 3,500 acres (up from 2,000 acres in 2017) with more than 60 new farms and businesses receiving hemp research permits.

Also, as of this past weekend, I can personally confirm and verify that there’s a better selection of CBD products at any single Heady Vermont event than on the entire island of Manhattan and borough of Brooklyn.

So yes, Vermont is still way headier and cooler than New York City.

Beyond the early adopters — hipster havens and yoga hotspots — who have not yet caught onto the CBD craze, there’s an even larger demographic of mainstream canna-curious citizens with soreness, anxiety, and fortunately for us, an innate bias towards believing (rightly) that just like beer and cheese, Vermont does it better. 

Even without even much diversification of the larger cannabis sativa phylum beyond CBD, the early (infused) tea leaves are showing incredible potential for Vermont’s growing cannabis community.


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