On Town Meeting Day, Waitsfield, Fayston and Moretown voters approved allowing retail cannabis sales in their communities. Duxbury passed the measure last year and Warren did not vote on the issue. These Valley towns joined more than 40 towns across the state that approved retail cannabis on March 1, 2022. Recreational marijuana possession and cultivation has been legal in Vermont since July 1, 2018.
The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) of Vermont is currently accepting pre-qualification applications for retail cannabis stores. License applications for integrated licensees, small cultivators and testing laboratories will be accepted beginning April 1, 2022, and can begin to be issued as of May 1, 2022. Licenses for all cultivators can begin to be issued June 1, 2022.
License applications for product manufacturers and wholesalers can be accepted beginning July 1, 2022. Licenses for product manufacturers and wholesalers can begin to be issued August 1, 2022. License applications for retailers can be accepted September 1, 2022, and can begin to be issued October 1, 2022, so cannabis retailers could open in Vermont this fall.
“The board does have regulations as far as buffer zones on retail establishments – sales may not occur within 500 feet of school property,” said CCB outreach and administration manager Nellie Marvel. “This is measured from the school property line to the front door of the retail cannabis establishment. A municipality’s authority to regulate cannabis establishments is fairly limited – beyond a municipality’s general authority to create and enforce zoning rules or public nuisance or signage ordinances that apply to all businesses, they do not have the authority to create special rules for cannabis establishments.” More information may be found at ccb.vermont.gov.
“The board is not limiting the number of licenses that can be issued in a particular community, and as of this writing, no pre-qualification applications have been submitted for Waitsfield, Fayston, Moretown or Duxbury,” Marvel said.
“If a retail cannabis establishment were to open in The Valley, I think it would benefit The Valley's businesses by bringing folks to The Valley, similar to what we have seen in the beer and local spirits industries,” said state representative Maxine Grad, D-Moretown. “The law and regulations establishing the regulated market include a number of safeguards including those on targeted advertising, education and prevention.”