Recreational marijuana sales officially opened in Vermont over the weekend, with three community stores opening their doors to customers on Saturday.
Three retailers opened over the weekend: FLORA Cannabis in Middlebury, Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland and CeresMED in Burlington. Associated Press“Fourth business licensed to sell recreational pots, but not ready yet”.
of Burlington Free Press report During the grand opening at Burlington’s Ceres, the newspaper said that “a line of hundreds of people stretched from the front of the store around the corner and down the alleyway” gathered for the occasion.
You’d be forgiven for assuming recreational cannabis sales are already happening in Green Mountain State, which legalized private possession and cultivation of marijuana for adults in 2018. The state legalized medical cannabis in 2004.according to free pressCeres “has been in business for nearly a decade serving medical marijuana customers, and its established infrastructure has helped the company stay on track.”
But a 2018 law signed by Republican Governor Phil Scott did not establish a regulatory framework for the adult-use cannabis market, making Vermont an outlier in the legalization movement.
That changed in 2020 when state legislators approved a bill establishing a regulated marijuana industry.
“Ten of the 11 states that have legalized adult-use marijuana possession have wisely regulated the retail cannabis market. To date, Vermont has been the lone exception.” Carly Wolf, NORML State Policy Coordinator Said at the time.
With Saturday’s openings in Middlebury, Rutland and Burlington, Vermont now becomes the 15th state to have legal adult-use cannabis sales.
When the bill was signed into law in 2020, Scott said the bill “has been a top priority for the majority of Congress for four years, but their work is not done.”
“They must ensure the equity of this new policy and prevent their priorities from becoming public health concerns for current and future generations,” Scott said in a signed statement. Therefore, I authorize this bill to pass without my signature.”
According to Associated Press, The state’s cannabis control board “has given priority review and waived licensing fees for social equity applicants,” among others.[applicants who are] Black or Hispanic, or from communities that have been disproportionately affected by the historical marijuana decriminalization, or have family members who have been incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes.
Other states that have established regulated marijuana markets have enacted similar social equity measures. In New York, where legal sales could begin by the end of this year, the first round of recreational dispensing pharmacy licenses will go to individuals previously convicted of cannabis-related offenses. .
Associated Press report “More than 30 social equity applicants, mostly growers, have been approved.”
When he signed the bill establishing Vermont’s new cannabis market, Scott said it “requires cities and towns to approve these businesses before retail stores open.” We will ensure that zoning is applied to cannabis cultivation and production.”
He also said the law “allocates up to 30% of excise taxes, up to $10 million a year, to education and prevention efforts,” adding that “cannabis excise and use taxes are designed to expand after-school and summer learning.” will fund a grant program for program.
Scott said at the time that the state’s subsequent budget included “a transition to a universal after-school network, building on the successful model in Iceland and focused on preventing drug use and improving academic and social outcomes.” It contains language proposing to