Vermont cannabis shops gearing up for opening day

Starting October 1st, people in Vermont will be able to buy cannabis at retailers in the state.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 9:16 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - People in Vermont will be able to buy cannabis at retailers in the state starting Oct. 1.

There are currently only four licensed retail shops in Vermont, three of which are opening Saturday.

Rutland’s Mountain Girl Cannabis co-owner Josh MacDuff said they’ll be more than ready to open on Saturday.

“I’ve seen kind of the adverse impacts of the war on drugs, particularly in the cannabis space. And to me, it’s exciting to be part of, you know, the folks in the state who bring that forward, move this forward in a positive direction,” said MacDuff.

Mountain Girl is among the first shops to get its retail license in the state.

MacDuff notes that they had a lot of applicants to work at Mountain Girl Cannabis, and have some staff members who previously worked in the cannabis industry in states like Colorado. He said he has high hopes for the market.

“Vermont is going to be a destination for cannabis. The way that the Cannabis Control Board kind of laid things out, they really want to incentivize that small craft component, the same concept that the microbreweries were having,” MacDuff said.

Another of the few shops opening their doors Saturday is Flora Cannabis, just a few miles up Route 7 in Middlebury.

“I really wanted a store here that we can all be proud of, all of us in the legalization community can be proud of as doing cannabis,” said Flora co-owner Dave Silberman.

Silberman, who’s also Addison County’s high bailiff, said they’re hiring nine staff members out of more than 150 applicants.

He says they’ll have pre-rolls and hopefully products like tinctures and edibles, but will mostly be selling flower.

“I really hope that we can be a model for others to follow, and also an outlet for folks who have been growing in the black market for all these years. There are so many high-quality growers here in Vermont, people who really know their craft,” said Silberman.

Both shops say they plan to start online orders in the coming weeks. They can only sell to people over the age of 21, even if they have a medical card. The Cannabis Control Board says Vermonters should know the market will take time to mature and adjust.

“This is something that we need to build totally within our state, everything from cultivation to testing, to manufacturing gummies or edibles, to sales. Everything needs to be done in-state so it’s going to take a little bit of time for instance for supply to catch up to demand,” said Nellie Marvel with the Cannabis Control Board.

Retailers will only be selling to Vermonters over the age of 21 and this product is not intended for anyone below that age. The Cannabis Control Board said purchasers will need to show ID at the door and at the cash register.

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