Vermont’s Fifth Medical Cannabis License –Vermont Cannabis News
Vermont’s fifth medical cannabis license will be awarded on September 11 and some of the state’s current medical cannabis operators have already begun the process of opening their satellite location, the state’s medical cannabis program head told prospective licensees during a Tuesday Q&A session.
Lindsey Wells, the Vermont Marijuana Registry director, indicated a six-person committee would independently score the new applications and make their recommendations to the health commissioner; however some attendees voiced fears over whether an existing dispensary could beat them to a location before their application was approved. Wells said that while geography was one of the factors considered on the application, there would be “a strong case for a growth area” and officials would likely inform the new applicant if a conflict did emerge.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson will have the final say in who is awarded the license based on the recommendation by the panel. Anderson was appointed by Gov. Phil Scott.
Some attendees were concerned about what would happen if their application was chosen but local lawmaker turnover created a hostile environment for the industry, such as a ban or zoning changes. Wells said there were a “million what-ifs,” adding that a statement of support from a local government is an application requirement.
Wells noted that the VMR is “working with” the Department of Agriculture on a testing program but currently they were not providing such services for the industry. She urged attendees to find an independent testing facility or partner with a current operator who has laboratory facilities.
Wells also fielded questions about what the rules might be when Vermont, eventually, migrates to a recreational-use market but she declined to offer any comment, saying “it depends” on what legislators include in the law.