Blue Sage, a retail cannabis store, will be opening next month in the Village Square Shopping Center.
Business owners Kevin Kennedy and Per Arneberg will be located in the former Infinite Sports location. The business will be vertically integrated, and they will be cultivating cannabis, manufacturing cannabis products and offering retail sales. They are doing some very basic construction work at the new shop and expect to open in mid to late November.
They will be growing cannabis with a Tier 1 hybrid license, cultivating up to 125 outdoor plants and growing indoors in 1,000 square feet or less. Beyond what they grow, they plan to work with a handful of local growers as well.
“We want to feature local, worthy products and local growers. Our focus is to provide a space that’s approachable, less stigmatized, that is inviting and approachable. We’re trying to provide the cleanest, best, high quality cannabis products that we can,” Arneberg said.
He said they will sell the cannabis flowers and use the trim and by-products for extraction to manufacture edibles and topicals.
Kennedy said the ability to bring a quality product to people in an engaging and comfortable environment was important.
“There’s a lot of stigma associated with cannabis and its history and it can make people uncomfortable and apprehensive. We want to create a place that is welcoming, educational and casual. We look forward to engaging with people on how to consume the product safely and effectively,” Kennedy said.
“There is real science as to how and why cannabinoids work in our body and there are effective and ineffective ways to consume them. When people leave the store, we want them to feel fully aware of what they’ve purchased, how to use the products and have a good experience on the economy of their purchase,” he added.
Arneberg and Kennedy met while Arneberg was an undergrad at UVM and Kennedy was in graduate school. Both share a love of snowboarding. Kennedy lives in Richmond with his fiancé and brings extensive experience in the CBD industry. Arneberg moved to Moretown last year with his wife and two young children.
Both were enthusiastic about being in Waitsfield and had met some of their neighbors in the shopping center where they said they received a lot of support.
They’re excited about the opportunities that retail cannabis will offer in The Valley and Vermont.
“I grew up with older parents and our generation, those in our 30s, are seeing this come to fruition, the chance to change the narrative and de-stigmatize cannabis. We’re getting a lot of community support up to this point,” Arneberg said.
They expect to hire four to six employees to start and expect to have two to three people (including one of them) working most days.