These are some of the most commonly asked questions. Don't see what you're looking for? Contact us for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. All applicants must make a good faith effort to get a bank account. In many cases, banks that will open accounts for cannabis businesses are asking to see a pre-qualification certificate from applicants prior to opening an account. The following banks have deposit accounts on file for cannabis businesses:
- Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU) (NOTE: VSECU recently announced a pause in opening new cannabis business accounts)
- New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU)
- Vermont Federal Credit Union
- Brattleboro Savings & Loan
- Please contact Theresa Masiello (email@example.com)
- Currently serving Windham and Bennington counties ONLY
- Dama Financial
- CFG Bank
- First Federal Bank
- GFA Federal Credit Union
- Herring Bank
- Moonstone Bank
- North Bay Credit Union
- Regent Bank
- Stearns Bank N.A.
- Valley Bank
- West Town Bank & Trust
If an applicant can document their unsuccessful good faith efforts to open a bank account, they may still apply for licensure by submitting a cash management plan along with their application.
Yes. Cannabis establishments must obtain and maintain commercially reasonable levels of insurance to protect the business owner and the general public.
What may be considered commercially reasonable is up to you and the insurance provider. The coverage provided by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will be inadequate. If you are unable to obtain commercially reasonable levels of insurance coverage, you must place in escrow for coverage of liabilities:
- Tier 1 cultivators, no less than $10,000
- Tier 2 and 3 manufacturers and tier 2 and 3 cultivators of any type, no less than $50,000
- Retailers, wholesalers, integrated licensees, testing laboratories, tier 1 manufacturers, and tier 4, 5, and 6 cultivators of any type, no less than $250,000
Several agencies are accepting cannabis establishments for insurance policies. Contact information may be found below.
- NFP: Scott Foster, Vice President of Risk Managment: firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-792-5453.
- Hickock & Boardman: Jessica Coons, Account Manager: email@example.com or 802-262-1442
- Purple Risk Insurance Services: David Kennedy, CEO: firstname.lastname@example.org or 475-459-1557
- Good Harbor Retirement Solutions: Louis Olave, Managing Partner: email@example.com or 802-236-4320
The Cannabis Control Board has not vetted or endorsed any the available insurance plans from any of the above businesses.
Act 164 (2020) sets the following timeline for the roll-out of the adult use market:
- April 1, 2022: License applications for integrated licensees, small cultivators, and testing laboratories can be accepted.
- May 1, 2022: Licenses for integrated licensees, small cultivators, and testing laboratories can begin to be issued.
- License applications for all cultivators can also be accepted.
- June 1, 2022: Licenses for all cultivators can begin to be issued.
- July 1, 2022: License applications for product manufacturers and wholesalers can be accepted.
- August 1, 2022: Licenses for product manufacturers and wholesalers can begin to be issued.
- September 1, 2022: License applications for retailers can be accepted.
- October 1, 2022: Licenses for retailers can begin to be issued.
As of this update in mid-August of 2022, the application windows for all available license types and tiers are open. Applications are available on the adult use forms and applications page of our website:
There are six license types – cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, testing laboratories, and integrated licenses. Of these, cultivators and manufacturer licenses are broken down into tiers based on the size of the establishment and the allowable activities.
More information on licenses, along with how much it costs to apply and be licensed by the Board, can be found in the Application and Licensing Fees document on our guidance page:
The pre-qualification application window is closed as of May 31, 2022. New applications will not be accepted, and incomplete existing applications have been closed and automatically withdrawn. This applies to pre-qualification ONLY.
Applicants may apply to be pre-qualified ahead of their full application window opening as outlined above. An applicant may decide to pursue pre-qualification in order to help them obtain financing, a location for their business, or anything else where official documentation from a regulatory agency might be useful in lieu of a full license.
Pre-qualification is not a license to operate, and it does not affect an applicant’s licensure priority when their relevant application window opens.
There is a $500 non-refundable fee associated with pre-qualification, which is applied towards an applicant’s full licensing fee, and an applicant pursuing pre-qualification must undergo and pay for a second background check when they seek a full license.
Recently the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a statement classifying all types of cannabis with a Delta-9 THC content of less than 0.3% as “hemp” federally. All cannabis seeds and clones are likely to meet this definition.
In Vermont, all individuals growing or producing more than two mature cannabis plants or four immature cannabis plants are required to register their business, regardless of the THC content of their plants.
For plants that meet the above definition of hemp, growers may continue to register with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture until the end of 2022. After that, beginning January 1, 2023, oversight of hemp production will transfer to the federal government. Individuals that want to cultivate hemp and operate in compliance with federal law will be required to have a license issued under the U. S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. Information on USDA’s program, can be found at https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp.
Growers who wish to cultivate all other forms of cannabis must register with the Cannabis Control Board. The appropriate license or registration for your business will depend on the details of your business model, and you should consult with your legal counsel to determine the best course of action.
No. Delivery is not currently allowed. The legislature may consider it in the future.
Yes. Customers can order cannabis and cannabis products online, but they must go to the store to pick up their order in person.
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.
The Vermont legislature has defined plant canopy in statute. The statute provides that: “’Plant canopy’ means the square footage dedicated to live plant production and does not include areas such as office space or areas used for the storage of fertilizers, pesticides, or other products.” 7 V.S.A. § 861(24).
Yes, the Vermont legislature has mandated independent testing for every license holder that is subject to a testing requirement.
The relevant statute provides: “A cannabis establishment that is subject to testing requirements under this chapter or rules adopted pursuant to this chapter shall have its cannabis or cannabis products tested by an independent licensed testing laboratory and not a licensed testing laboratory owned or controlled by the license holder of the cannabis establishment.” 7 V.S.A. § 908(f).
Yes. All marketing, advertising, branding, packaging, and promotional materials must contain the same written health warning established by the Board. More information will be contained in forthcoming guidance on product packaging. In the meantime, the approved warning labels may be found on the Board’s guidance page:
Social equity applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- They are Black or Hispanic, or
- They are from a community that has historically been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition and are able to demonstrate to the Board that they were personally harmed by that impact.
- They have been incarcerated for a cannabis related offense or have a family member that has been incarcerated for a cannabis related offense
No previous Vermont residency is required, but applicant must currently reside in Vermont.
More information on the Board’s decision to define social equity applicants in this way may be found in this recording from the CCB’s January 31, 2022 meeting. The discussion begins at roughly hour 2:07 of the recording.
Further information on the Board’s social equity program, and how to apply, may be found in guidance.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria for the Board’s social equity program, but still come from historically disadvantaged communities may be considered economic empowerment applicants. The Board will prioritize reviewing license applications from economic empowerment applicants over non-social equity and non-economic empowerment applicants.
Economic empowerment applicant businesses must be at least 51% owned by a member of a historically disadvantaged community. Those communities include: women, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, First Nation/Indigenous/Native Americans, Asian American / Pacific Islanders, and other communities of color not explicitly named in the social equity program.
By statute, only Social Equity applicants have access to technical assistance and grant funding through the Cannabis Business Development Fund.
The background check process is different for pre-qualification and full licensure.
Pre-qualification applicants must request their own Vermont, 50-state, and federal background checks by following the instructions found in our pre-qualification guidance document.
Background checks submitted for pre-qualification are not sufficient for full licensure. Guidance for obtaining your background check for full licensure is available on our guidance webpage.
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." 7 V.S.A. § 863(a)(1).
A municipality may not use its regulatory authority to prohibit the operation of non-retail cannabis establishments.
All cannabis establishment applicants must contact the Division of Fire Safety to determine whether a site visit will be necessary for licensure. They will need one of two documents. Applicants will either need:
- A letter stating that their proposed cannabis establishment is not in a public building, or
- A certificate of occupancy or conditional use letter
Both of these letters are obtained by contacting the Division of Fire Safety. Applicants should contact Landon Wheeler, Assistant State Fire Marshal, with the Department of Public Safety's Fire Safety Division.
Email Address: Landon.Wheeler@vermont.gov
Phone Number: 802-639-0949
Department of Taxes:
Applicants must request a certificate of good standing from the Department of Taxes by sending an email with the following information to tax.ComplianceSupport@vermont.gov:
- Your business name
- ID (SSN or FEIN)
- include "Good standing request for Cannabis license” in the subject line.
The law does not require cannabis or cannabis product to be sold through wholesalers. The law established a wholesaler license for those who may choose to operate a wholesaling business.
Businesses manufacturing food products that don't contain THC must have a license through the Vermont Department of Health. If you have a Food Processor license through the Department of Health, you cannot manufacture edibles containing cannabis at the same facility that's licensed to manufacture products that don't contain cannabis.
The Department of Health produced this Frequently Asked Question document specifically on this topic. Please refer to it for additional information.
There is nothing in the Board’s draft rules that prohibit people who are licensed by the Board from forming cooperative ventures, consistent with any applicable laws.
If you have received Federal funding such as funds from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and/or the Risk Management Agency (RMA) for USDA farm programs, that may include, but are not limited to, crop insurance, farm loans, disaster assistance and conservation programs, you should seek legal counsel before applying for a license to cultivate, manufacture, wholesale, or retail cannabis or cannabis products. Although landowners in Vermont may now legally apply for licenses to operate a cannabis establishment, Federal laws prohibit such activities.