VTDigger: Governor Phil Scott Signs Licensing Bill H.701 Into Law

Heady Vermont Staff 26 Mar 2022

This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared on VTDigger.org on March 25, 2022, with some additions from the Heady editors.

Gov. Phill Scott signed into law one of several measures that prepares Vermont for the sale of recreational cannabis in October, H.701. The bill sets out the licensing fees for all cannabis establishments.

“It really favors outdoor cultivation and small operators,” James Pepper, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, told VTDigger earlier this year.

Pepper said outdoor cannabis cultivators told the board several times that they want some indoor growing capacity to keep seedlings, clones and mother plants under artificial light, and to move growing inside for winter. This law allows them to do that.

The law also sets three tiers of manufacturers. One tier can use any extraction method, including combustible solvents, to make vape cartridges, oils and tinctures.

The second tier is geared toward commercial kitchens for edibles not allowed to use any combustibles to make brownies, gummies and cookies.

The third tier is a cottage tier for the home-based manufacturer. It’s for businesses that sell less than $10,000 a year and want to use a home kitchen to make pre-rolled joints or small batches of edibles.

H.701 also, very importantly, grants the board the authority to reduce or waive cannabis establishment application and licensing fees for social equity applicants as defined by the Board, and includes a definition of social equity applicants.

The bill is key to standing up the retail cannabis market because licenses cannot be issued without it. Medical dispensaries can start selling recreational cannabis May 1, with purely recreational retail stores opening Oct. 1.

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