Vermont Is Accepting Licenses for Legal Pot Shops | Cannabis Catch-Up | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Vermont Is Accepting Licenses for Legal Pot Shops

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Published August 3, 2022 at 6:48 p.m.


FILE: LUKE EASTMAN
  • File: Luke Eastman
Aspiring pot retailers can now apply for a license to deal.

The state's Cannabis Control Board began accepting applications for sellers on Wednesday, ahead of the October 1 start date for legal recreational sales. The board opened the application window a month earlier than planned.

"We really want to kind of get those applications in and start the review as soon as we can," chair James Pepper said.
Cannabis Control Board staff have been vetting applications from growers, wholesalers, testing labs and manufacturers throughout the summer. The plodding licensing pace has frustrated some business owners who are banking on being legal in time for the market's launch.
Delays processing applications, which entails time-consuming steps such as a third-party background check, didn't drive the decision to accept applications earlier, board spokesperson Nellie Marvel said in an email. Rather, Marvel said, staff completed the retailer application ahead of schedule.



"We know we have a number of hopeful applicants chomping at the bit to apply," she said, adding that there's "not a particular reason to delay them further."
More than 350 cannabis businesses have applied for non-retail licenses so far this year. The board has approved 104 licenses, the majority for small, outdoor growers.

Nearly 50 prospective retailers have gone through a prequalification process, a sign that the state may see dozens of  weed stores open in the months ahead. Under Vermont's cannabis law, adult-use retailers may only operate in cities and towns that have opted in; 68 have done so, according to a count maintained by the cannabis industry website Heady Vermont.