Licensing Update: Thirteen Licenses Issued, Including One Retailer, As 10/1 Looms
MONTPELIER – Today’s Vermont Cannabis Control Board meeting, the final before adult use sales kick off this Saturday, began with a poignant and lengthy recognition from Chair James Pepper of the monumental work Board staff have done internally to get to this point in time. Board members also voted to approve 13 licenses, including one more retailer.
The licenses approved by regulators today included 10 cultivators (indoor, outdoor and mixed), two manufacturers, and one retailer. Vermont Bud Barn in Brattleboro received today’s single retail license approval. Owner Scott Sparks has indicated that he expects to be ready for sales in mid to late October.
- GMT Genetix, LLC – Mixed Cultivator Tier 1
- Lamoille Valley Extraction Solutions, LLC – Mixed Cultivator Tier 1
- Brown Dog Cannabis – Indoor Cultivator Tier 1
- Tunbridge Roots – Indoor Cultivator Tier 1
- Four Turtles Farm – Indoor Cultivator Tier 1
- Green Mountain Cannabis North – Indoor Cultivator Tier 2
- Green Barn Farm, LLC – Mixed Cultivator Tier 2
- Sunny View Farm, LLC – Indoor Cultivator Tier 1
- Mad Hatter Cannabis and Hemp, LLC – Mixed Cultivator Tier 1
- The Clean Cannabis Company – Indoor Cultivator Tier 3
- Kria Commons – Manufactuer Tier 3
- Snowbird Botanicals, LLC – Manufacturer Tier 1
- Vermont Bud Barn, LLC – Retailer, Brattleboro
Acknowledgement by the Board
Pepper explained how this process has felt like building a parachute while in free-fall. With only four full-time Board staff members until hiring picked up in July 2022, members expressed deep thanks to the newly onboarded staff for forging ahead despite less-than-adequate guidelines and resources.
“[We] didn’t even have an office or an Executive Director by the time the Legislature left town for the year,” Chair of the Board James Pepper recalled, “let alone a solid idea of what this market should look like, what our staffing needs were going to be, or whether we’d need to cover our budget entirely with [licensing application] fees.”
“The path of least resistance for the Board would be to give a small number of licenses to large operators,” Pepper said. With 179 of the 222 licensed cultivators as Tier I, he noted the Vermont cannabis market belongs to small growers – as it was intended to be.
Pepper also recognized wide-spread frustration with the Board’s pace of licensing. He said he empathizes with these frustrations and went on to acknowledge that “People have put in a lot of money and time to move out of the legacy market and participate in this industry.”
Pepper further encourages those with pending applications to “stick with the Board,” explaining their process behind this backlog. “The path of least resistance for the Board would be to give a small number of licenses to large operators,” Pepper said. With 179 of the 222 licensed cultivators as Tier I, he said, the Vermont cannabis market belongs to small growers, as it was intended to be.
“Remember, everything that [the Board] has done is to help small cultivators find their place here instead of big business.” – Kyle Harris, Board Member
The remarks that Pepper shared today were lengthy, thorough and touched on many of the issues that applicants and consumers have raised with the Board’s process. It lasted for roughly ten minutes and is worth listening to. The recorded meeting should be available on the Control Board’s YouTube channel soon.
Pivoting from poignant to procedural, Compliance Director Cary Giguere joined the Board for a presentation that took attendees through the admitted requirements for the temporary inventory tracking system. In a departure from past meetings, there was an open Q&A, separate from public comment, during which cultivators had their questions directly answered by Giguere.
First, Giguere offered an overview of some pertinent terms. For instance, ‘harvest lot’ is described in the rules as any cannabis that was grown in the same lot. Whatever was planted at the same time, on the same flower cycle, received the same inputs, and was harvested around the same time qualifies in the same harvest lot.
A ‘process lot’ is whatever the harvest lot is broken down into – Whatever flower is sold or process together is the process lot.
The Microsoft form for inventory tracking for outdoor cultivators will be available on the Board’s website by the end of the week. In-depth instructions on how to fill out this form are also available on the recorded meeting from today on the Board’s YouTube channel. (usually uploaded within a day or two)
Some Questions and Answers from the Meeting
Q: Is waste from a harvest lot a second process lot?
A: There is separate form for documenting waste. Growers can take either route for reporting waste. It can be done through the reduction form or done directly in the process lot section.
Q: How much of the harvest lot needs to be tested? Not much of an issue for Tier 1 but what about higher tiers?
A: If, for example, a Tier 5 cultivator has separate grow rooms, each room would be its own harvest lot. Representative samples will suffice for testing purposes. Guidelines for representative samples will become available shortly.
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