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Heady Events Launches Free 2021 Webinars To Promote Education, Participation in Vermont’s Legal Cannabis Industry

Heady Vermont Staff
Heady Vermont Staff 29 Dec 2020

Grow Vermont Together promotes dialogue, education and equitable participation in the state’s nascent adult use market

BURLINGTON — As Vermont takes its first steps towards launching an adult use cannabis market, Heady Vermont is announcing a series of free webinars that will kick off with a session on how Vermonters can petition their local selectboards for an opt-in vote on cannabis dispensaries.

Grow Vermont Together is a multi-part webinar series that will tackle a range of topics within Vermont’s nascent adult-use cannabis market. It aims to promote dialogue, education and equitable participation in the state’s cannabis industry following the enactment of Act 164.

The mission of this series is to enable the equitable participation of Vermonters, including small cultivators, women and BIPOC-owned businesses, in the state’s up-and-coming adult use market. These webinars are free for all and will include a wide range of speakers on topics including: Petitioning your selectboard to vote on dispensaries, navigating state and federal laws, expungement, and multiple sessions covering licensing and social equity efforts.

The mission of this series is to enable the equitable participation of Vermonters, including small cultivators, women and BIPOC-owned businesses, in the state’s up-and-coming adult use market.

The first of these webinars will take place on Thursday, January 7, 2021 at noon. “Petitioning Your Selectboard for a Cannabis Retail Opt-In Vote” will cover the basics of how to reach out to, and if necessary petition, your local selectboard to hold a vote on whether to allow cannabis retailers in your municipality.

This session is being organized ahead of the January 31 warning deadline for the next Town Meeting day, which takes place on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Earlier this month, Middlebury became the first town in Vermont to authorize an opt-in vote on Town Meeting Day on whether to allow dispensaries. Since then, St. Albans, Brattleboro, Lyndon and Newport have followed suit.

Middlebury Attorney and leading statehouse advocate Dave Silberman successfully petitioned his town’s Selectboard to authorize the vote. Silberman, who is the featured speaker for the first session in the webinar series, said it’s important for towns to hold their opt-in votes as early as possible.

“Even though retail licenses will not be issued until the 2nd half of 2022, people are already making plans and scouting out potential locations for their future businesses.”

“Even though retail licenses will not be issued until the 2nd half of 2022, people are already making plans and scouting out potential locations for their future businesses,” Silberman said. “Opening up a cannabis retail store will require people to make a substantial investment – in terms of time, effort, and money – and people will be hesitant to make that kind of investment in any town if they don’t have a certain level of certainty that they’ll actually be allowed to open their business.”

Heady Vermont CEO Monica Donovan said that she’s looking forward to keeping a close eye on developments in the new industry, and using the webinars to help bring attention to areas where the state’s cannabis program might fall short.

“Like 2020 has taught most of us, I’m looking to keep this series a little bit flexible so that as issues arise with our developing legal market, we can really highlight and bring them to the forefront, and get everyone’s voices heard and involved,” said Donovan, who will be moderating the first session in the series.

In October, Vermont became the eleventh state to legalize recreational cannabis sales. Over the next two years, according to the last available timeline, the state will set up a regulated statewide market for cannabis and issue licenses.

Attendees can view the event on the Heady Vermont site and RSVP via Eventbrite. The webinar will take place on Zoom and allow plenty of time for Q+A.

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