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Frequently Asked Questions

How and where do I purchase cannabis?

Cannabis and cannabis products may be purchased by adults 21 and older with a valid government-issued photo ID card, which the customer must present upon entry to the retail establishment, and again prior to purchase.

Cannabis may only legally be purchased from a licensed retail establishment or the retail arm of an integrated licensee. No other license types may sell to the public. A list of licensed cannabis establishments, including retail stores, is available on our website:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/licenses

What does the Board do?

The Board is responsible for implementing and regulating a safe legal market for adult use of cannabis. More information on the CCB may be found on the About Us section of the website:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/aboutccb

What are the rules, and where do we find them? How do we provide comments?

Rules can be found here:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/laws-rules-and-regulations


Comments can be provided through the Board’s public input form, or during the public comment period of any one of the Board's public meetings.

Are there purchase limits on cannabis products? What’s the limit on flower and equivalent products?

Yes. 7 VSA § 907(b) states that “In a single transaction, a retailer may provide one ounce of cannabis or the equivalent in cannabis products, or a combination thereof, to a person 21 years of age or older upon verification of a valid government-issued photograph identification card.” Equivalent cannabis products are calculated as follows in the below chart:

Purchase Limit Equivalencies to 1oz cannabis flower

Flower Concentrate Vape Carts Edibles (50mg THC / package limit)
28g product 14g product

.5g carts: 16 cartridges

1g carts: 8 cartridges

168 packages at 50mg THC

8400mg THC per purchase (30% THC potency cap on flower)

8400mg THC per purchase (60% THC potency cap on concentrates) 8000mg THC per purchase (100% THC - no potency cap) 8400mg THC per purchase (100% THC - no potency cap)

Does the Board maintain a list of cannabis lawyers in Vermont?

The Board does not maintain a list of lawyers with expertise in the cannabis industry. Please consider reaching out to the Vermont Bar Association for recommendations:

https://www.vtbar.org/

Can employees with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) use cannabis now that it is legal in Vermont?

The requirements for getting and keeping a Commercial Driver’s License are not impacted by the legalization of cannabis in Vermont. Any substance that was prohibited for use by CDL holders prior to cannabis legalization in Vermont is still prohibited. 

Are firearms allowed in retail cannabis establishments?

Cannabis retailers may set their own rules with respect to allowing or forbidding firearms on their premises. Property owners have the authority to issue a no trespass order against those who do not follow the rules of their establishment.

Does the Cannabis Control Board track or report data regarding cannabis sales?

It is not the CCB's practice to collect sales data from retail cannabis establishments. Neither the CCB's rules nor the statute governing the Board require collection or reporting of sales data. However, through our inventory tracking system, we will be tracking data related to the movement of product.   By early 2023 we will begin publishing aggregated data on cannabis and cannabis product sales through our data analytics vendor.  

The VT Department of Taxes requires reporting on sales of cannabis and cannabis products annually with the cannabis establishment's filing of their sales tax return. When filing a sales tax return, cannabis establishments will be required to report cannabis and cannabis product sales separately from other taxable items (like merchandise) due to the earmark on revenues for  purposes of education and substance misuse prevention. See the VT Department of Taxes guidance for more information here:

https://tax.vermont.gov/sites/tax/files/documents/GB-1313.pdf

When can I apply for a cannabis establishment license? What are the requirements for an adult-use license? My license was just approved by the Board! When can I start operating?
What are the license types and tiers? What will they cost? Some licensing tiers refer to canopy size, but what is the definition of plant canopy? How do I register as a nursery?
Does the law require cannabis establishments to buy and sell cannabis and cannabis products through wholesalers? Can a licensee hold more than one license? Does one license allow the licensee to operate multiple locations?
Can "stacked" or "vertically integrated" licenses operate at the same location? Can multiple licensees operate at the same location? Can cannabis establishments deliver, or is there a stand-alone delivery license?
Can customers order cannabis online? What is pre-qualification? How do I obtain a background check for my cannabis license?
Are there any convictions that would disqualify me during the licensing process? How do I demonstrate tax compliance and compliance with fire safety regulations for the purposes of my cannabis license? Are cooperative ventures permitted by the Board’s rules?
Is a greenhouse considered indoor or outdoor cultivation?    

When can I apply for a cannabis establishment license?

The application windows for all available license types and tiers are now open. The Board has not announced a closing date for these windows and has no plans of doing so in the foreseeable future. In the event the Board does opt to close any license application windows, they are required by state law to provide at least 30 days’ notice of that closure.

To log-in to the license application portal and apply for an adult-use license, please see the website below:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/forms

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What are the requirements for an adult-use license?

The license requirements vary by license type. All requirements for an adult-use cannabis establishment operating license may be found in Board Rule 1, posted on our website:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/laws-rules-and-regulations

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My license was just approved by the Board! When can I start operating?

After a license is approved by the Board during one of its scheduled public meetings, the newly approved licensee will get a message from our licensing staff alerting them to this fact. This approval notification is not a license to operate.

Often, there are contingencies on the license that must be met prior to issuance. All required contingencies will be listed in the approval email. An approved licensee is generally given 30 days to fulfill these contingencies.

If your town has a local control commission, the commission is notified after the Board approves a license application. Local control commissions have 60 days to respond to the license approval notification.

Once the contingencies are fulfilled, the licensing fee has been paid, and the local control commission (if relevant) has responded, the staff will mark the license as “issued” within the application portal, and the licensee will be given access to download their newly-issued license. They may only begin operations once their license has been fully issued.

Again, the approval email from staff is not a license to operate.

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What are the license types and tiers? What will they cost?

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.

Only retail and the retail portion of an integrated license may sell cannabis and cannabis products to the general public.

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:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

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Some licensing tiers refer to canopy size, but what is the definition of plant canopy?

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).

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How do I register as a nursery?

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 on their website:

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(s) or registration(s) 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.

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Does the law require cannabis establishments to buy and sell cannabis and cannabis products through wholesalers?

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.

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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.

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Does one license allow the licensee to operate multiple locations?

No.  There can only be one location per license.

Example: A retail licensee cannot open multiple retail locations within the State.

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Can "stacked" or "vertically integrated" licenses operate at the same location?

The proposed rules allow for "stacked" or 'vertically integrated" licenses to operate in the same location, as long as the operation for each license meets all of the requirements for each individual license held.  The licensee must abide by all of the operational rules for each license and must meet all of the local zoning bylaws and local ordinances for that location.  A "stacked" or "vertically integrated" licensee may not operate a retail license portion of a license in town that has not opted-in.

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Can multiple licensees operate at the same location?

Except for retail licenses, yes. The rules allow multiple licenses to operate at the same location.  However, specific operational requirements regarding co-location are included in Board Rule 2.2.18.

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

No. Delivery is not currently allowed either as a stand-alone license or as a part of a larger cannabis establishment. The legislature may consider it in the future.

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Can customers order cannabis online?

Yes. Customers can order cannabis and cannabis products online, but they must go to the store to pick up their order in person, as cannabis delivery is not currently allowed.

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What is pre-qualification?

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 for the full application.

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.

More information on pre-qualification may be found on our guidance page:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

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How do I obtain a background check for my cannabis license?

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, available on the guidance page linked below.

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:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

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Are there any convictions that would disqualify me during the licensing process?

Having a criminal record does not necessarily exclude someone from receiving a license. However, certain criminal offenses may limit the Board’s ability to grant a license or require the applicant to provide more information about the offense’s circumstances as a part of the review process. These offenses may be found in Board Rule 1.11.2. They are:

  • A listed crime as defined in subsection 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7) or the equivalent in another jurisdiction.
  • A conviction for an offense in relating to the sexual exploitation of children (13 V.S.A. chapter 64) or the equivalent in another jurisdiction.
  • State or federal felony offense involving fraud, deceit, or embezzlement.
  • Convictions that demonstrate an ongoing involvement with organized criminal enterprises, including violent gangs and drug cartels.
  • Trafficking of a regulated substance other than cannabis. For the purposes of the Board, this means the trafficking of cocaine, fentanyl, or methamphetamines, or the possession, selling, or trafficking of heroin (18 V.S.A. §§ 4231(c), 4233(c), 4233a(b), 4234a(c)), or a non-violent drug distribution offense in another jurisdiction that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years of incarceration or greater.
  • Dispensing cannabis to a person under 21 years of age in violation of 18 V.S.A. § 4230f, or the equivalent offense in another jurisdiction.
  • Misdemeanor convictions that occurred within the 2 years preceding the application; except for non-violent offenses.
  • Felony convictions that occurred within the 5 years preceding the application, except for non-violent offenses

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How do I demonstrate tax compliance and compliance with fire safety regulations for the purposes of my cannabis license?

Fire Safety:

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.

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Are cooperative ventures permitted by the Board’s rules?

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.

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Is a greenhouse considered indoor or outdoor cultivation?

The designation of a greenhouse as indoor or outdoor cultivation depends on the features of the greenhouse itself. If a structure is in use for 180 days or more throughout the year, and utilizes an HVAC system for thermal regulation and/or it uses artificial lighting – that greenhouse is considered indoor cultivation. If it is used for fewer than 180 days, and doesn’t use artificial lighting – it is considered outdoor. A temporary greenhouse structure in use for fewer than 180 days may use vent fans for air circulation and still be considered outdoor cultivation.

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How do I find out more information on Vermont's Medical Cannabis Program?

The Cannabis Control Board maintains a separate page for frequently asked questions relating to medical cannabis in the state of Vermont. Those FAQs may be found here:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/med-FAQ

To contact the Medical Cannabis Program, please email CCB.Med@vermont.gov or call 802-828-1010 ext. 2

Is seed-to-sale inventory tracking required in the state of Vermont? What platform is the state using?

Inventory tracking is required under state law. The Cannabis Control Board is developing its own platform for inventory tracking – the final version will be available at the end of 2022.
In the meantime, Licensees must track their inventory via the forms staff have built here:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/inventory-tracking

All licensees must enter their inventory tracking information to the form on a bi-weekly basis.

Additional guidance on inventory tracking is available here: https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

My inventory has not changed in two weeks. Do I still need to enter my inventory tracking information?

Yes. All licensees must check into the inventory tracking system every two weeks, even if nothing has changed.

I’m a cultivator, and I haven’t finished harvesting, drying, and curing my plants. Do I need to track my inventory, and can I change my data after harvesting and drying?

Yes. Inventory tracking is designed to be a seed-to-sale tracking system. This means that all inventory is traced from when plants are put in the ground, through the discard of any male plants, harvest, manufacturing – all the way to when the final cannabis or cannabis product is sold to the end consumer.

The inventory tracking system is designed to be updated as plants continue through their growth stages through harvest.

The tracking forms refer to “Harvest Lot” and “Process Lot.” What do those terms mean?

These terms are defined in guidance. Please refer to the Inventory Tracking and Lab Testing Guidance document on our webpage:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

Is each license holder that must have its product tested required to get the testing done by an independent laboratory?

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).

Additional guidance on lab testing may be found on our website: https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

What tests are required for smokable flower?

Smokable flower must be tested for THC potency, pesticides, and pathogens. In order for flower to be offered for retail sale, THC potency must test below 30%. Flower that tests positive for aspergillus cannot enter the market as smokable flower, but may be used for extraction manufacturing purposes.

 

Do I need a bank account for my cannabis business?

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-Based Banks:

National Banks

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.

Are there requirements for insurance coverage?

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.

The Cannabis Control Board has not vetted or endorsed any the available insurance plans from any of the above businesses.

I own a business that produces non-THC infused food products - can I start manufacturing edibles containing THC?

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 a Frequently Asked Question document specifically on this topic. Please refer to it for additional information:

Are vapes regulated by the CCB or Department of Liquor and Lottery?

Vape carts used for cannabis products and sold in licensed cannabis retail establishments must seek a secondary license specifically for their vaporizer products through the Department of Liquor and Lottery.

Will the Department of Liquor and Lottery be handling compliance and enforcement actions for the Cannabis Control Board?

No. The Cannabis Control Board has full civil and administrative enforcement authority of its rules under state law (7 VSA § 843). Under the 2022 public safety plan released by Governor Scott, the Department of Liquor and Lottery should be called upon by the Cannabis Control Board for criminal law enforcement support instead of relying on Vermont State Police, when the Board deems it necessary.

The has its own independent compliance division, tasked with fostering a culture of education and compliance in Vermont. The compliance division is also responsible for investigating complaints about the actions of any cannabis establishment, and can recommend administrative and civil sanctions to the Board. Should  law enforcement support become necessary in enforcing the Board’s rules, the Board will rely on DLL on a case-by-case basis. Compliance inquiries or complaints may be made online via Adult-Use Complaint form (linked below), or by emailing CCB.Compliance@vermont.gov.

Adult-Use Complaint Form:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/AUcomplaints

 

As of this writing, cannabis is still a federally illegal, schedule I substance.

As a Vermont farmer, what should I be aware of regarding Federal laws on producing cannabis?

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.

Does the federal government or the Cannabis Control Board regulate hemp products?

All aspects of hemp cultivation and manufacturing have historically been regulated by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets. This VAAFM Hemp Program will be ending as of December 31, 2022. Beginning on January 1, 2023, oversight of hemp cultivation will transfer to the federal United States Department of Agriculture. More information on the federal hemp program may be found here:

https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp

Hemp product manufacturing and registration will be administered by the Cannabis Control Board in the new year. Hemp products will need to be registered with the CCB prior to sale in Vermont, starting on January 1, 2023.

Am I required to have warning labels on my products?

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:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

What are the rules and regulations around advertising cannabis products and establishments in Vermont?

Detailed advertising guidance is forthcoming. Until the point when such a document is publicly available, advertisers must be able to meet the following criteria:

  • Advertising campaigns must be in compliance with 7 V.S.A. § 864
  • Advertising campaigns must be submitted to the Board prior to public dissemination by emailing CCB.Advertising@vermont.gov with the subject line “Advertisement Submission: Business Name” (Business name being the business that’s going to be advertised)
  • Print advertisements must be submitted as a PDF or other easily viewable file. Video or voice submissions must be in a format that’s also easily reviewable by Board and staff
  • Please include the locations that will be targeted with the advertisement campaign, along with the dates that you plan to run them.
  • Provide reliable and verifiable data that the campaign meets the 15% rule in 7 V.S.A. § 864(c) – that no more than 15% of the audience is under 21.

More answers to questions may be found on the page dedicated solely to Municipal Frequently Asked Questions:
https://ccb.vermont.gov/municipal-faq

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." 7 V.S.A. § 863(a)(1).

A municipality may not use its regulatory authority to prohibit the operation of non-retail 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. § 22917 V.S.A. § 863(d)(2). 

More information on municipal cannabis regulation may be found in the Municipal Guidance document on our guidance page:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

 

What is a social equity applicant? What about an economic empowerment applicant?

Social equity:

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:
https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

Economic Empowerment:

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, 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.

 

Will the CCB inspect cannabis businesses? How will the Board receive complaints about cannabis establishments? How will the Board investigate cannabis establishments?
How could cannabis establishments be sanctioned for violations? Will a local police force know if cannabis is being lawfully transported through a town? What authority do local or state police have to stop and inspect licensed transportation vehicles?
What type of security is required? How will local law enforcement be notified of theft, property damage or loss? How many people can be in a retail cannabis establishment at once? Will local police, fire, and rescue forces receive additional training related to cannabis over-consumption?
What is the State doing to keep our roadways safe? Are novel cannabinoids such as Delta-8 synthetic Delta-9 regulated by the CCB? Can these products be sold in non-licensed establishments such as gas stations? Is cannabis consumption, such as smoking, vaping, or eating edibles, allowed in public?
Can cannabis be consumed on private property such as a restaurant, outdoor common area of an apartment complex, concert venues, or in a resident's private yard/porch/driveway? What type of public education on cannabis use will the CCB provide?  

Will the CCB inspect cannabis businesses?

Yes, the CCB will aim to inspect each cannabis establishment annually.

How will the Board receive complaints about cannabis establishments?

Members of the public can submit a complaint via the form on our website (linked below), or by emailing CCB.Compliance@vermont.gov. Complaints may be submitted anonymously through the website form.

Adult-Use Program Complaint Form:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/AUcomplaints

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How will the Board investigate cannabis establishments?

The Board has compliance & enforcement personnel who can investigate complaints about the operations of any cannabis establishment and recommend sanctions to the Board, if appropriate.

Should law enforcement support be deemed necessary, that support will be provided by the Department of Liquor and Lottery’s enforcement division.

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How could cannabis establishments be sanctioned for violations?

The Board has authority to prescribe administrative and civil penalties to a license holder or other person who violates the rules or laws regulating the legal cannabis market. These penalties could range from a fine to a suspension or revocation of a license, depending on the type and severity of violation. The Board will inform a municipality of a suspension or revocation of a license after it has reached a final judgment.

More information about the Board’s enforcement processes can be found in Board Rule 4, available at the Board’s website:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/laws-rules-and-regulations

Municipalities retain authority to enforce ordinances regarding “public nuisances” under 24 V.S.A. § 2291. Complaints about subjects such as odor from cannabis cultivation or manufacturing facilities would be regulated as a public nuisance, and is subject to municipal, rather than state, authority.

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Will a local police force know if cannabis is being lawfully transported through a town?

If transported in accordance with Board rules, cannabis transports will not be apparent to anyone outside of the cannabis businesses involved. Information about transports will not generally be shared with law enforcement each time a transfer happens, but there are strict rules in place regarding the transfer of cannabis between cannabis businesses.

Among other regulations, if cannabis is being transported by vehicle between licensees, it needs to be done in an unmarked car to avoid unnecessary attention and threats of theft or diversion. Cannabis must be entered and tracked in inventory tracking software that indicates a transfer between license holders.

Every time cannabis is transported, a manifest must be generated containing detailed information such as approximate time of departure, destination, estimated time of arrival, the transportation vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number, and signature of an employee of the cannabis establishment receiving the product.

If there is an issue in transport, the Board must be notified within 24 hours, and the Board will contact officials as appropriate.

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What authority do local or state police have to stop and inspect licensed transportation vehicles?

None, unless the driver has committed a moving violation or some other offense.

Cannabis establishment employees who are transporting cannabis must always have documentation on them demonstrating their lawful employment with a cannabis establishment.

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What type of security is required? How will local law enforcement be notified of theft, property damage or loss?

The Board has security requirements for all cannabis businesses, though the requirements vary depending on license type. License holders are required to report to the Board any issues of theft, property damage or loss. The Board will notify appropriate law enforcement and local officials as appropriate.

More information about the Board’s security requirements can be found in Board Rule 2, available at the Board’s website:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/laws-rules-and-regulations

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How many people can be in a retail cannabis establishment at once?

The CCB does not intend to regulate maximum occupancy at cannabis establishments, however all establishments will be subject to all relevant fire and building safety codes.

What public health and education measures are in place with respect to a legalized adult-use cannabis market?

The CCB has developed detailed regulations to ensure that cannabis and cannabis products that are being sold at retail establishments are tested and free from harmful adulterants. The CCB has broad authority to stop sales and recall harmful products if identified.

All cannabis products will be sold in opaque, child-resistant packaging that will be labeled with standard health warnings and symbols approved by the Vermont Department of Health. Cannabis flower and non-dipped pre-rolls without additives may be in child-deterrent (tear-resistant) packaging, and do not have to be opaque. Flower and pre-rolls must be labeled with the same standard health warnings as other cannabis products in child-resistant packaging.

The CCB will require retailers to provide customers an educational flyer at the point of sale that includes health and safety information. This point-of-sale flyer may be found on our guidance page:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

Additionally, the Department of Heath will have access to 30% of the cannabis excise tax (capped at $10,000,000 annually) to fund substance misuse prevention programming throughout the state.

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Will local police, fire, and rescue forces receive additional training related to cannabis over-consumption?

While the CCB does not have the authority to require additional trainings related to cannabis consumption for local police, fire, and rescue forces, the CCB will require training for employees for cannabis establishments that includes identifying signs of over-consumption.

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What is the State doing to keep our roadways safe?

The Vermont Criminal Justice Council added Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) to the mandatory curriculum at the Vermont Police Academy in 2015, meaning all law enforcement officers who have graduated since 2015 are trained to detect drivers impaired by any substance, including cannabis. The Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council is currently working to train all remaining law enforcement officers that are involved in highway safety on ARIDE standards.

In addition to ARIDE-trained officers, Vermont utilizes approximately 45-55 trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) that are geographically dispersed around the state. DREs are specialized law enforcement officers that have completed a 40-hour course and field certification designed to detect not only impairment but also the impairing substance(s) a driver has consumed.

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Are novel cannabinoids such as Delta-8 synthetic Delta-9 regulated by the CCB? Can these products be sold in non-licensed establishments such as gas stations?

The legislature granted regulatory authority of these novel cannabinoids to the Cannabis Control Board through Act 158 in 2022, and the Board intends to create a product registration process to ensure that any product containing a novel cannabinoid will be reviewed – including its packaging, labeling, ingredients, and health effects – before being released to the public.

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Is cannabis consumption, such as smoking, vaping, or eating edibles, allowed in public?

Public consumption of cannabis in any form is prohibited by state law and is subject to civil penalties capped at $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

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Can cannabis be consumed on private property such as a restaurant, outdoor common area of an apartment complex, concert venues, or in a resident's private yard/porch/driveway?

Cannabis consumption is prohibited by state law in all places of public accommodation, and some places of public accommodation can be private property. Places of public accommodation can include restaurants, stores, or other facilities at which services, facilities, goods, privileges, advantages, benefits, or accommodations are offered to the general public.

Cannabis consumption on private property that is not a place of public accommodation is not prohibited by state law.

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What type of public education on cannabis use will the CCB provide?

The CCB will require retailers to provide customers an educational flyer at the point of sale that includes health and safety information. This point-of-sale flyer may be found on our guidance page:

https://ccb.vermont.gov/guidance

Additionally, the Department of Heath will have access to 30% of the cannabis excise tax (capped at $10,000,000 annually) to fund substance misuse prevention programming throughout the state.

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