Cannabis is still categorized as a Schedule I drug under federal law. Vermont is one of the most recent states to have opened its doors to commercial cannabis sales for recreational use.
2004 – Medical cannabis was legalized in Vermont.
2018 – Adult-use cannabis was legalized.
April 1, 2022 – Integrated licensees, small cultivators, and testing laboratories can submit license applications.
May 1, 2022 – All cultivators can start submitting license applications.
July 1, 2022 – Manufacturers and wholesalers can submit license applications.
September 1, 2022 – License applications for retailers can be accepted.
Are you wondering how to open a dispensary in Vermont? It’s not an easy road to navigate. Check out the guide below to learn more about the laws, licenses, and requirements for cannabis retailers.
Can I open a recreational dispensary in Vermont right now?
According to the Cannabis Regulation Act, only five dispensaries can have a registration certificate at any given time. When the number of registered patients reaches 7,000, the department will open the sixth dispensary.
If any of the present dispensaries’ licenses expire or are revoked, the department will consider applications. As a result, it’s critical to check the Marijuana Registry website on a regular basis to see if the department is accepting new applications.
Only Vermont citizens with VMR ID cards will be able to purchase cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries. Out-of-state patients are not accepted into Vermont’s program.
Your competitors in the space will include:
- Green Leaf Central
- Magic Mann
- Zenbarn Farms
- Temescal Wellness
- Elevated State and more
How much can you buy?
Qualified patients or their caregivers can buy up to 1 ounce (28 grams), two mature plants, and four immature plants.
Patients are only permitted to purchase from their designated dispensary. They can only designate one dispensary at a time and can only update it once every 30 days for a charge of $25.
If a patient is unable to access medicinal cannabis on his or her own, the patient might appoint a caregiver to purchase and deliver marijuana on his or her behalf. There are also delivery services available.
Cannabis sales are not expected to start until at least October 2022.
Current Cannabis laws in Vermont
- Individuals above the age of 21 years can possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis.
- Adults can grow only up to 6 plants (two mature and four immature) for personal use.
- Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is punishable by a civil fine.
- Adults can possess 5 grams or less of hashish and concentrates.
How Much Cannabis Can an Adult in Vermont Possess?
- Adults 21 and older are currently able to possess up to one ounce (28grams) of cannabis
- Cultivate up to six plants (2 mature and 4 immature) for personal use, away from public view.
Patients with a qualifying condition need to visit the VMR to obtain a registry ID card only then they will be able to purchase cannabis products or plants.
An excise tax of 14% and a 6% sales tax on marijuana transactions.
Current Cannabis Market in Vermont
According to the Vermont Cannabis Control Board, recreational marijuana expenditure in Vermont could exceed $225 million per year by 2025, resulting in approximately $46 million in new state taxes.
Types of Cannabis Licenses in Vermont
Following are the types of cannabis licenses processed in Vermont:
Cannabis Cultivation License
The licensee will be able to cultivate cannabis plants and sell wholesale to other licensed Vermont Cannabis Businesses. Fortunately, there are no state-wide limits on the number of cultivation licenses the state will approve.
Cannabis Processor License
The licensee will be able to extract, process, and manufacture cannabis products such as edibles, concentrates, tinctures, etc., and sell to retail stores. Again, there are no state-wide limits on the number of cultivation licenses available.
Cannabis Retail License
The licensee will be able to procure cannabis from licensed cultivation and manufacturing facilities and sell cannabis to qualifying patients with a valid medical marijuana card. However, there is a limit of 5 business licenses allowed for Cannabis Retailers in Vermont.
How to Get a License
Because the state allows only five dispensaries to operate at any given time, the application procedure is exceedingly strict and precise. The following are some of the documents you’ll need to receive a dispensary license:
- Proof of a closed and secure location where you propose to distribute cannabis, as well as a description of it.
- Documentation of security measures in place to prevent and deter unlawful entry.
- Personal details and fingerprints of the owner and financer of the dispensary
- Methods for accurate record-keeping
- The address of the dispensary
To evaluate whether you qualify for a license, the department considers a number of factors. Some of these factors include whether:
- Location is physically convenient to patients
- Required experience to run a dispensary
- You have a criminal history. If you do, the chances of rejection of your applications stand high.
Vermont Dispensary Fees
|Type of Fee||Amount|
|Non-refundable Application Fee||$2,500|
|Licensing Fee for first year||$20,000|
|Licensing Fee from first year onwards||$25,000|
|Registration identification card fee for each employee, financier, and owner of a dispensary||$50|
What Else Do You Need to Open a Dispensary in Vermont?
Understand Cannabis Laws In Vermont
When it comes to cannabis laws, the fifty states are as diverse as fifty nations. Recreational cannabis, medicinal marijuana, CBD products, and other cannabis-related items are all subject to separate legislation. Sometimes all it takes is a short walk or drive to find yourself subject to dramatically different regulations. In Idaho, for example, marijuana is illegal, even for medical purposes. While in Washington, adults may walk into a cannabis shop and walk out with bud, edibles, oils, and more.
Therefore, to open a dispensary in Vermont, understand the cannabis laws in Vermont.
Devise Scalable Business Plan
A solid business plan is important to open your cannabis dispensary in Vermont. It must include the following information to help you stay ahead of your competitors:
Products and services
Although your products or services will be featured in most sections of your business plan, it’s critical to have a part that provides vital facts for interested readers. If you sell a lot of things, you can give more general information about each of your product lines; if you just sell a few, give more specific information about each one.
Evaluate your competitors’ marketing strategies and understand why customers choose to buy from them. Determine their strengths and shortcomings, as well as their market position and status (growing, maintaining, scaling back). When an entrepreneur claims there is no competition for his product or service, investors become concerned.
As you assess your competitors, you’ll want to include:
- Names of your major competitors
- Products or services they offer
- Market share and dollar sales of your competitors
- Their Current performance
- Strengths and weaknesses
Develop Your Financial Forecast
Forecasts are required for almost all types of business funding. These projections are used to show not only the need for finances but also the future value of equity investments or debt payments. As a result, creating a good financial forecast is a vital component of getting money for your company. It could be the most important step in assessing your company’s viability.
Your forecast should be for at least three years, allowing for credible assumptions to be established without a lot of guesswork. At the very least, until you attain positive cash flow, your forecast must have a monthly break-up. This is significant since an annual cash flow total may hide cyclical issues that you have and should address in your financial strategy.
Description of Organizational Management
Write a summary of the team members and other important persons who are critical to the success of your business. List duties and responsibilities, as well as the hierarchy or team structure, if applicable.
Write a summary of the sales plan, including each cycle’s priorities, steps to attain these objectives, and performance measures. This part does not need to be a comprehensive, in-depth sales plan for the sake of a business plan; instead, it can just define the high-level objectives and methods of your sales operations.
Start by answering the following questions:
- Describe sales strategy
- What are the possible obstacles, and what is the plan to overcome them?
- Timeline for sales and making a profit
- What are the metrics of success?
Tips for writing a business plan
- Keep it simple
- Do adequate research
- Set clear goals
- Know and address your weaknesses
- Seek peer or mentor review
Choose A Hardworking Team
When you’re starting a business from the ground up, you’ll need a hardworking team. You’ll also need to carefully organize your strategy and resources. Choosing the right professionals to form an effective team is more difficult than it looks. It’s a major responsibility and risk because the individuals you choose will have the most impact on whether or not your project succeeds.
The more knowledgeable and skilled they are, the better your chances of success.
Be Compliant With The Location
State regulations often become hurdles in the way of choosing the perfect location. Dispensaries are normally prohibited from being within 500-1,000 feet of schools and other similar institutions, and municipal authorities may impose additional restrictions. This is particularly problematic in densely populated metropolitan areas. Be cognizant of the importance of location when planning to launch a dispensary or expand your business.
Tech Integration With Top Technology Partner
A successful cannabis business requires a solid IT infrastructure and security system. Therefore, once you’ve got your license approval and you are ready to open shop, you must contact Cure8 IT experts. We can plan, design, and set up your dispensary from the ground up. From POS systems to tablets, network systems, printers, surveillance cameras, and more, we have everything you need to complete your store’s IT infrastructure.
How Can Cure8 Help?
We are an award-winning tech solution provider in the US and Canada. Cure8 provides technical support to cannabis businesses to overcome operational and technical challenges. We also help your business stay compliant with local and state regulations.
We monitor your technology round the clock to ensure it runs smoothly to enable you to stay ahead of your competitors.
Check out our services and solutions here.