Vermont Cannabis License Guidelines

Vermont Marijuana Registry

Vermont Cannabis Guidelines

Created within the Executive Branch is an independent commission named the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) for the purpose of safely, equitably, and effectively implementing and administering the laws enabling access to adult-use cannabis in Vermont.

The Medical Cannabis Program strives to ensure registered patients and their caregivers are able to access cannabis for symptom relief in a timely manner and are committed to ensuring quality and affordability for those enrolled in the program.

Staff review and process applications, issue registry identification cards to residents of Vermont with verified debilitating medical conditions and evaluate the compliance of registered dispensaries.

If a licensee files a timely and complete renewal application but does not receive a response from the Board prior to the expiration date for their license their license shall continue to be valid until such time as the Board provides a response, at which time their license will be renewed if the application is granted or terminated if it is not.

Vermont Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Vermont commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:

FAQs

Can a licensee hold more than one license?

Yes.  Except for the Integrated Licenses, licensees may hold more than one license. This is referred to as “stacking” or “vertically integrating” licenses. However, they may not hold more than one of any type of license

Example: One licensee may hold one retailer license, one cultivator license, one manufacturer license, and one wholesaler license.  However, one licensee may not hold two retailer licenses or two manufacturing licenses.

For cultivators – indoor, outdoor, and mixed cultivator licenses are all considered one “type” of license. A cultivator may not hold both an indoor and an outdoor cultivation license.

Does one license allow the licensee to operate multiple locations?

No.  There can only be one location per license.

Can cannabis establishments deliver, or is there a stand-alone delivery license?

No. Vermont law currently prohibits delivery in the adult-use cannabis market.  Thus, there is no stand-along delivery license available, and delivery to consumers is not allowed by a licensee.

What should I include in the Marijuana Dispensary Registration Application?

Since a small number of dispensaries can operate at a time in the state, the application process is very stringent and very specific. Some of the documents you need to present to get a dispensary license include:

  • Proof and description of a locked and secure facility where you intend to distribute cannabis
  • Proof of security measures to prevent and deter unauthorized entrance
  • Name, date of birth, and fingerprints of the owner and financier of the dispensary
  • Procedures showing your plans for accurate record keeping
  • The address of the dispensary

Do municipalities need to opt in to host a cannabis establishment?

A municipality must opt in to host a retail cannabis establishment.

The opt-in vote requirement only applies to retail and the retail portion of integrated license types, and does not impact the ability for other license types to operate in a particular municipality. These other license types include cultivators, wholesalers, manufacturers, and testing laboratories.

The relevant statute provides: “Prior to a cannabis retailer or the retail portion of an integrated licensee operating within a municipality, the municipality shall affirmatively permit the operation of such cannabis establishments by majority vote of those present and voting by Australian ballot at an annual or special meeting warned for that purpose.  A municipality may place retailers or integrated licensees, or both, on the ballot for approval.”

 

What other authority does a municipality have to regulate cannabis establishments?

What other authority does a municipality have to regulate cannabis establishments?
A municipality’s authority to regulate cannabis establishments is fairly limited.
General rule:
Cannabis establishments are subject to the same zoning rules and municipal ordinances that apply to any business. Beyond municipalities’ general authority to create and enforce zoning rules or ordinances that apply to all businesses, they do not have the power to create special rules for cannabis establishments.
A municipality may:
Regulate cannabis establishments to the same extent they may regulate any other business under their authority to create zoning bylaws in 24 V.S.A. § 4414 and their authority to regulate signs or public nuisances in 24 V.S.A. § 2291. Municipalities may regulate any cannabis establishment license type in this manner. 7 V.S.A. § 863(b).
A municipality may not:
Regulate cannabis establishments to any greater extent than they could any other business. 7 V.S.A. § 863(d).
Place conditions on the operation of cannabis establishments, or create special rules for them, that is not within their zoning authority under 24 V.S.A. § 4414 or their authority to regulate signs or public nuisances under 24 V.S.A. § 2291. 7 V.S.A. § 863(d)(2).

Vermont Cannabis License Types

Cultivator: Cultivator licensees may grow cannabis plants, either outdoors, indoors, or a mix of indoors and outdoors.

Cultivators may also dry cannabis, package it, create pre-rolls out of flower and/or trim, and sell it to other cannabis establishments. They may produce clones for sale to other licensees, including licensed retail establishments.

Cultivators may not conduct any extraction, including mechanical extraction. Mechanical extraction means extraction by means of mechanical or manual sifting and pressing as approved by the Board.

Cultivators may transfer cannabis to licensed product manufacturers for processing into cannabis products and re-possess their manufactured cannabis product to sell to other licensees.

Manufacturer:  Manufacturer licensees may create products from cannabis plants; including edibles, oils, tinctures, and other such products.

There are tiers of manufacturing licenses depending on the types of extraction methods used and amount sold.

Tier 3 manufacturers may use any lawful method of extraction, including supercritical CO2 extraction, flammable solvent chemical extraction, and flammable solvent chemical synthesis.

Tier 1 and 2 manufacturers may use the following extraction methods:

  • Mechanical Extraction: extraction by means of mechanical of manual sifting and pressing as approved by the Board.
  • Water-Based Extraction: extraction using only water, ice, or other freezing substrate or process as approved by the Board
  • Food-Based Extraction: extraction using propylene glycol, glycerin, butter, coconut or olive oil, other typical cooking fats, or alcohol as approved by the Board.
  • Heat/Pressure-Based Extraction: extraction using heat and/or pressure as approved by the Board.

Manufacturers can package their products and sell them to other cannabis establishments. They may not sell to the general public.

Retailer:  Retailer licensees may purchase cannabis and cannabis products from other licensees, and they may package and sell cannabis and cannabis products to the general public.

Only retailer licensees and the retail portion of integrated licensees may sell to the general public.

Wholesaler:  Wholesaler licensees may purchase cannabis and cannabis products from other licensees and sell them to licensees.

They may package cannabis and cannabis products and may create pre-rolls out of flower and/or trim.

They may not sell to the general public.

Testing Lab: Testing Laboratory licensees test cannabis and cannabis products obtained from a licensed cannabis establishment, dispensary, or a member of the public.

All cannabis and cannabis products sold must be tested in accordance with Board Rules.

Testing laboratories test for product potency and purity across a variety of metrics. They may not sell cannabis to the general public or to other licensees.

Integrated Licenses:  Integrated Licensees may engage in the activities of each of the license types: cultivation, manufacturing, wholesale, testing, and retail.

These licenses are only available to an applicant and its affiliates that hold a medical cannabis program dispensary registration on April 1, 2022.

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