Licensing Update: Board Introduces New Compliance Team, 20 New Licenses Issued, Retail Applications Open
MONTPELIER – Resuming after a brief hiatus from its regular meeting last week, the Vermont Cannabis Control Board touched on a variety of pressing topics this afternoon.
Among the updates: Retail applications have opened up a month early, the Board’s Compliance Team has been finalized, 20 more cultivation licenses were approved, headway has been made on the Board’s medical program initiatives, and much more.
Congratulations to the twenty newest licensees:
The meeting today began with the introduction of Cary Giguere, the Board’s compliance director, and the rest of the compliance team. “If we’re going to get this right, if we’re going to honor Vermont’s reputation for quality, [Cary is] the right person for this job,” Control Board Chair James Pepper said before passing things off to Giguere.
“We’ve got a deep bench as far as compliance goes. A lot of experience working in state systems and a lot of knowledge on cannabis as well.”
Viewers heard from various members of the Board’s Compliance Team including Tipper Sullivan, Christine Motyka, Mike DiTomasso and Denise McCarty, all of whom join with lengthy experience in their respective fields, most of which are directly related or adjacent to cannabis.
“We’ve got a deep bench as far as compliance goes. A lot of experience working in state systems and a lot of knowledge on cannabis as well,” Giguere said of the newly formed compliance team members. Field visits are set to start this week.
Retail Applications Open
Shortly before 1 p.m., the Board announced via email that retail applications are officially open, and they reiterated this in today’s meeting. These can be accessed through the Board’s website and will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Pepper indicated the Board’s excitement surrounding this new round of applications. “We really want to get [retail] applications through and start their review as soon as we can,” Pepper highlighted.
The Board reported that no manufacturing applications are ready to be approved this week. Remaining cultivation applications will be issued before staff moves on to manufacturing and wholesale.
The process of developing legislative proposals for the medical program is underway, Pepper shared today. In an effort to honor the needs of patients, the Board is seeking insight from the public before compiling language for legislative proposal.
Next Wednesday, August 10 at 2 p.m. and next Thursday, August 11 at 6 p.m., the Board will hold public virtual meetings to hear from any and all who would like to offer the Board guidance in terms of the medical cannabis program in Vermont.
While the Board will ask directed questions, these meetings will be “open-ended discussions about the future of the medical program.
“If you care about the medical program, you’re a current or former patient, if you’re a caregiver, healthcare provider, if you’re someone who hasn’t been able to access the medical program, or if you just want to listen, please join us at those round tables and share your thoughts with us,” – Chair James Pepper
The Board has made significant headway in terms of inventory tracking systems, Pepper said. He opted to hold off on further details until a third-party analytics contractor has been finalized. However, he did share that licensees will be required to regularly report to the Board about their inventory.
This reported data will then be analyzed for aberrations and/or suspicious activity which will be used to help prioritize enforcement actions of the Board.
Point of Sale Flyer
Point of sale (POS) flyers are required to be available at any point where cannabis is sold in Vermont. These flyers will contain information for consumers to note before buying cannabis products.
Board member Julie Hulburd took point on this, and made note that she had consulted with public health officials and other parties who have worked in public health messaging during the process of putting it together. A draft was shown during the meeting in the form of three pages of text covering legality, consumption, driving, youth, mental health and a host of other areas.
“[These flyers] should be seen as a multi-layered approach to harm reduction and consumer education,” Board member Julie Hulburd said. She said she recognized that not all consumers will find use in these flyers, but hopes that they will serve to help those consumers who do have outstanding questions and concerns before purchase.
Other Meeting Items
- If you have a pending application for Outdoor or Mixed Tier Cultivation license be sure to check for a letter from the Board on how to proceed with your application. If the Board does not hear from you they will continue with the approval process.
- Email is always the most effective way to communicate with the Board.
- Despite the Board’s best efforts, the current vape tax will apply to cannabis vape products. They will be asking the Legislature to exempt cannabis vapes from this tax.
- The Board has made a categorical waiver to allow rubber tops on tincture bottles.
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Full list of licensees this week:
- Burning Bush Farm
- Island Pond Cannabis Company
- Flavorline Cannabis Company, LLC
- Trombly House of Cannabis LLC
- 7 B’s Farm
- Hidden Valley Farm
- Dalen, LTD
- Overton’s View Farm
- Maple Buckets LLC / DBA Vague
- LagaMont Breeds
- Fox and Hen Farms
- Moonlit Gardens
- Vermont Green Buds LLC
- Green Mountain Gold Farm, L.L.C.
- The Cannabis Collective
- Faustini Farms
- Lovespun Farmstead, LLC
- Orleans Cannabis LLC
- Honey Tree Farm, LLC