Now that the retail sale of marijuana has been legalized in Vermont, there is a marked increase in Vermont marijuana dispensaries.
The retail sale of marijuana for adults was legalized jut three months ago. Since then, the number of dispensaries has grown from three to 25. Several more are expected to open soon.
Read on to find out more about the increase in Vermont marijuana dispensaries.
The Increase in Vermont Marijuana Dispensaries Means the Industry is Taking over
Vermont legalized the selling of adult use recreational marijuana in October. That weekend, there were four licensed shops in the state, three of which were open for business.
Since then, 25 more shops have opened while four more announced plans to open within a month making for a marked increase in marijuana dispensaries.
The first shops to open in the state were in Burlington, Rutland, and Middlebury. Now, you can also find dispensaries in Brattleboro, Derby, Montpelier, Cambridge, Barton, and other areas.
Retail Locations That Represent the Increase in Marijuana Dispensaries are Profitable
The increase in Vermont marijuana dispensaries has become a significant source of income for many entrepreneurs. Capital Cannabis Co. of Montpelier which opened in November saw its two biggest sales days last week. Customers were stocking up on a variety of gift items.
“We are developing a very strong loyal customer base already,” says owner Lauren Andrews.
High Country in Derby is another Vermont dispensary that’s thriving. They exceeded sales goals during the holiday season and were able to expand their inventory.
Increase in Vermont Marijuana Dispensaries Exceeding Expectations
The increase in Vermont marijuana dispensaries exceeded expectations. After the sale of weed was approved, there was expected to be a “soft opening” where manufacturers and testing facilities created websites and more people started harvesting the plant.
Instead, the bill saw the opening of an unprecedented number of dispensaries as more indoor cultivators were licensed and more indoor and outdoor cultivators got their product on shelves.
“So this is probably a high point for our supply chain. We’re seeing a very steady entry of new products on the market every day,” said chair of the state Cannabis Control Board James Pepper of the increase in Vermont marijuana dispensaries.
Vermont Cannabis Growers Hope for Direct-to-Consumer Sales
While the increase in Vermont marijuana dispensaries is making headlines, there’s more cannabis-related news coming from the state. Vermont cannabis growers are hoping to legalize direct to consumer sale of their product.
Current legislation dictates that growers must sell to an intermediary such as a retail shop to get their products sold unless they buy a $10,000 retail license. This gives them little control over how much they can charge.
If they are permitted to sell directly to customers, they can set their own rates and bring in more of a profit.
The growers have the support of state lawmaker Emilie Kornheiser, D-Brattleboro vice-chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“It’s really, really important to me that all of our cannabis legislation supports small growers. I’m curious to see if in the next few years, the conversation winds up a lot like the raw-milk conversation,” Kornheiser stated.
Vermont has allowed farmers to sell raw milk directly to customers since 2009. It has allowed farmers to deliver and sell them at farmers markets since 2014.
Graham Unangst-Rufenacht, policy director at Rural Vermont also supports farmers. A small grass-fed beef farmer himself, he says that he could not survive if he wasn’t permitted to sell directly to customers.
“One of the ways in which small farms survive is through direct marketing of their own products,” he said. “When you scan directly sell your own product, there’s no cut going to an intermediary. Everybody who produces a product should have a right to sell that product directly themselves.
The farmers also have support of James Pepper, the chair of the state Cannabis Control Board. However, Pepper stated that there were challenges involved.
“I know $10,000 for a retail license is out of reach for a lot of folks. But I think in Vermont, we can all imagine a time that that would be allowed,” Pepper said referring to the expensive price of a retail license.
But he went on to point out some challenges.
“This is a very expensive crop compared to a tomato. So, we have some very intensive security and cash management requirements for retailers which might be hard to pull off at a farmers’ market,” Pepper stated.
Vermont law is also an obstacle. It states that even displaying cannabis requires an advertisement and cannabis cannot be advertised to the public. That means that farmers would have to find a way to sell it at their stands and markets without displaying it.
Are Special Event Cannabis Retail Licenses the Solution?
Pepper sees a possible solution in the creation of special event cannabis retail licenses.
“You could have an over-21 farmers’ market that would not be visible to the general public. That’s a conversation that’s going to happen this year,” Pepper said.
The chairman stated that there has been a lot of interest in a special license event among state senators. However, if the license was authorized, it would take another nine months for the Cannabis Control Board to implement regulations.
However, Pepper states that the best way for growers to succeed is to allow them to bring their products to the market themselves.
“The downside to the system that we have set up is that the people who take the most care and put the most work into growing this cannabis, generally speaking, just have to take whatever the price a wholesaler or retailer is willing to offer.”
There is a lot of cannabis-related news going on in Vermont as we are seeing an increase in marijuana dispensaries and cannabis growers rally to sell directly to the public. Only the future can tell what’s to come.
In the meantime, California continues to be a thriving market for cannabis products. If you are looking for the best of the best, SCSA South Coast Safe Access remains a prime location for quality bud. Stop into our Santa Ana recreational dispensary for all your marijuana needs.