We are 6 weeks into a legal adult-use market for cannabis in Vermont. Reports from around the state have pointed to a continued high demand for product, even after opening weekend. The Board is approving additional licensees of all types to help further ease the burden on the supply chain and shorten lines at an increasing number of retail shops.
The smooth rollout of Vermont’s cannabis market is thanks to the tireless dedication of cannabis advocates, the legislature, our agency partners, and most importantly the CCB staff; all of whom devoted countless hours to ensuring the market is one that balances the needs of small farmers, consumer protection, public safety, prevention, and equity.
Small Cultivators - As of November 15th, the CCB has approved 254 cultivation applications. Of those, 192 or 75%, are for Tier 1, small cultivators. Vermont’s market is comprised of diversified ecosystem of small farmers in a way that no other state has achieved.
“As someone who has fought for cannabis reform over the past decade, I am thrilled to see a market take shape that reflects Vermont’s values – small, local, and safe.” – Sen. Dick Sears
Consumer and Public Safety - The central promise of a regulated market is that consumers know what is in the products they are purchasing and that they are free from harmful contaminants. Vermont has instituted some of the strictest testing, labeling, and advertising restrictions in the country to achieve these goals.
“When done right, a regulated cannabis market can be a net benefit to public health and safety. We are starting to see these exact outcomes in the Vermont market.” – Rep. John Gannon
Equity - To date, social equity status has been approved for 71 businesses that are owned by people who have been harmed by cannabis prohibition. The CCB remains committed to ensuring that our social equity program will help mitigate some of the enduring harms that the war on drugs has woven into our society.
“I am proud to see equity at the cornerstone of Vermont’s emerging cannabis industry. No market can be truly inclusive unless we continually employ practices that remove barriers and address long-term harm and stigma. There is still much work to do, and we will continue to identify ways to make the market more inclusive for all.” – Xusana Davis, Cannabis Advisory Committee
Prevention and education - Adult-use states that have invested in prevention and education have seen cannabis usage rates among youth decline. The Vermont General Assembly dedicated 30% of the cannabis excise tax into substance misuse prevention as well as the entirety of sales tax into afterschool programs. (Prevention resources available here)
“Data are clear that cannabis use among youth is harmful to their health and their development. It’s critical that we remain acutely aware of the danger cannabis use can pose and reverse the negative trends we see regarding ease of access to cannabis and perception of harm. The crucial investments in funding both prevention efforts and afterschool programs for Vermont youth are necessary to ensure that we prioritize the health and well-being of our children and young adults.” – Monica Hutt, Chief Prevention Officer for Vermont