Burlington, VT — While retail cannabis sales will begin on October 1, it could take time before business really gets going.
James Pepper, the Chair of the Cannabis Control Board says the state’s complex licensing process has held up growth and harvesting.
“You know, they’re fighting with the weather right now, trying to harvest as late as possible. And once they’ve harvested they still need to dry and cure and test and package and all those kind of pieces before you know they can get product on the shelf.”
Pepper said with the delay in the harvest means less inventory on October 1.
Josh MacDuff, co-founder of Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland says he expects a lot of customers to turn out for opening day but it takes time to get stocked up. “I think it’s going to be a challenge in the first two to three weeks of rollout particularly things like edibles, concentrates and vape cartridges, things like that. But we’re going to do our best to have ourselves ready.”
The four licensed retail shops in Vermont aside from Mountain Girl Cannabis are Flora Cannabis in Middlebury, CeresMED in South Burlington, and the Vermont Bud Barn in West Brattleboro.
Pepper says there is still work to do in the coming months to ensure product gets to the shelves, as cultivating, testing, and manufacturing all have to happen within the state. “What we really need is more testing capacity, we need more product manufacturing capacity and we need to get through these 30 or so retail applications.”
Michael DiTomasso, a compliance agent for the Control Board says that cultivators shift from hemp has caused some confusion when growing. “A lot of folks in hemp transitioned to cannabis, but some of the testing requirements are different. I think there’s maybe a little worry that growers want to get as many of their crops to market as possible.”
David Silberman, co-Owner of Flora Cannabis also expects a crowd on Saturday despite not having all of their full array of products. “We will have a good selection of top-quality flower and pre-rolls. We will be getting additional products like edibles within the next ten days.”
Both Flora Cannabis and Mountain Girl Cannabis will be having grand openings at 11 am on Saturday and they urge people to get there early.
Pepper continued to emphasize that Vermont’s market permits adult-use only, so those 21 and over will be able to purchase cannabis.