Vermont House OKs Licensing Fees, Lower Costs for Small Cultivators
MONTPELIER — State lawmakers on Thursday gave approval to a cannabis licensing fee bill designed to encourage the development of small cultivators throughout the state. H.701, the bill that sets licensing fees for cannabis establishments, was read for the third time and passed by the House and passed yesterday during a virtual session.
Under the bill, the annual fee for the smallest outdoor grower would be $750, while the fee for the largest grower would be $75,000. Earlier in January, the Vermont Cannabis Control Board presented a third set of licensing fee options, Proposal C, which was adopted in the language for H.701.
From the CCB: “Proposal C” increases the price per square foot in a way that keeps lower tier cultivators affordable and then middle and higher tiers become progressively expensive as you move up. In this proposal, the license fees for the upper tiers of indoor cultivation are generally higher as compared to other states.
The state’s Joint Fiscal Office, in a January 12 presentation to the House Committee on Ways and Means, estimated that the state would see $1.856 million in fee revenues from Proposal C.
The following day, the Control Board, in a budget request made to the Senate Finance Committee, said they were now preparing to open the window to the first cannabis business license applicants in April, and requested 11 additional staff members to be onboarded by May.
Control Board Chair James Pepper, is hoping that the vast majority of the state’s overall cannabis production can be supplied by growers who are currently selling on the illegal market.
“[We’re] trying to create a regulatory environment that invites them into a regulated space that allows them to kind of shift their illegal grow into a legal one,” Pepper told VPR News this week.
The state’s retail cannabis marketplace is scheduled to open in October.
Video starts at the 4:43 mark, where discussion on H.701 begins.