Licensing Update: Board Approves 19 New Cultivators, Bringing Total Issued Vermont Cannabis Licenses to Nearly 150
MONTPELIER – During today’s meeting, members of the Vermont Cannabis Control Board approved 19 new cultivator licenses of various tiers, and addressed enforcement, fall retailer rollout and packaging. After today’s approvals, nearly 150 Vermont cannabis licenses have now been issued across the state of Vermont.
Board members say they are now “shifting their focus” more to product manufacturers and wholesalers, the first of which should be ready for approval by next week.
In last weeks’ meeting, 20 new licenses were issued, the Board’s compliance team was introduced and retail license applications were opened up a full month early.
License holders approved in the August 10, 2022 meeting:
Can Cultivators Grow Before They Are Fully Approved?
Will an outdoor cultivator with a pending application and plants are already in the ground be penalized for cultivating before they have full license approval?
If you’re doing your best to work through the process and you’re operating within the scope of the license you’re seeking, Chair James Pepper said, and following all regulations around inventory tracking, pesticide and other areas, the Board will not punish people for cultivating in the time it takes them to review their applications.
“The last thing we want to do is punish people that have actually taken us up on this proposition and applied for a license,” he said.
However, Pepper noted, if you’re not doing things that are permitted, particularly selling product to the public, especially to youth, or moving it across state lines, these things will not only affect your ability to get a license but are also subject to criminal enforcement.
EDITOR’S NOTE August 18: Legal caveat from Tim Fair of Vermont Cannabis Solutions – While the CCB is ok with people starting to cultivate while their license applications are pending, law enforcement certainly is not. Growers can still be prosecuted for felony cultivation until they are fully licensed. If you’re not sure how to proceed, we encourage you reach out to your attorney for professional advice.
Will Retailers Be Approved In Time For October 1?
Pepper addressed the big question “on everyone’s mind” – will retailers be licensed in time for October 1?
There was a time, Pepper said, when he didn’t think the Control Board would meet any of their deadlines. “And yet, here we are with over 130 licensed businesses,” he noted.
“We don’t want to micromanage our licensees, but we have a public safety mandate and we need to inspect and feel confident about your establishment before we can issue a license on the retail side,” he said.
Pepper also made note of the recent uptick in cannabis thefts, including a $100,000 theft on Monday from a cannabis retailer in Oakland, California, and a rash of coordinated burglaries up and down New England at retail locations this year.
“We want to live up to that October 1 expectation, but we don’t want to sacrifice public safety,” he said.
The Board reported that no manufacturing applications are ready to be approved this week, but several are in the queue and should be ready for next week.
Attendees were also reminded of two Medical Cannabis Program Roundtable Discussions, at 2 p.m. today and 6 p.m. tomorrow.
The Board is very close to having specific inventory tracking data points completed for each license type, said Pepper. So, for example, a manufacturer would know exactly what data points they need to collect about their inventory.
For now, license holders will be asked to submit this data at regular intervals through an online form available on the Control Board website. They’ll be doing a training on this, hopefully at their next meeting.
In today’s meeting, 19 cultivator licenses of various tiers were approved, along with one social equity applicant status. Here are the latest licensing numbers as presented by the Board:
Medical Cannabis Program
Other Meeting Items
- The Control Board will dismiss an application if it is incomplete for 3 months. If you’d like to continue your application, just email and notify the board that you would like your application to be reinstated and they will put you back in the queue.
- Application portals will not be closed anytime soon and the Board will give plenty of notice if they plan on doing so.
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Full list of licensees this week:
- BIG Intelligence Group LLC
- Way High Up There
- The Mad Botonist
- Cavelion LC
- Stone Leaf Grow, LLC
- Green State of Mind
- Mount Gay Farms, LLC
- Flower First, LLC
- Mend Botanical LLC
- Island Craft Cannabis
- Mythic Gardens
- Brigham Hill Cultivation LLC
- Cannabot Farms
- Giving Tree Farm
- Old school weed company
- Homegrown Health (DBA) Cognizant Sparks LLC
- Lucky Leaf LLC
- Mad River Terps LLC