Vermont inaugurates its first legal cannabis sales

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On Saturday, October 1, adult-use cannabis retail stores finally opened in Vermont, to lines of people who had been waiting patiently since dawn.

It took state lawmakers two years to approve the retail sale of cannabis for adult use, and more than four years to regulate cultivation and personal possession.

On September 14, the Cannabis Control Board of Vermont granted cannabis licenses to Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland and Flora Cannabis in Middlebury and gave the go-ahead to Ceres Med – formerly Champlain Valley Dispensary – in South Burlington to add to the sale of medical products that of products for adults.

Regulators have said delays in issuing licenses for outdoor growers could create supply issues in the early stages of the adult-use market. And indeed, the legal offer was somewhat limited at the opening of sales: a dozen varieties of flowers, sweets and a few vapes. This did not affect the happiness of the first legal buyers.

“Things are changing and things are good. About time,” said Bryan Menard, the first adult buyer at the Ceres Collaborative on Saturday morning, who walked away with 2 1/8 ounces (3.5 grams) of Candy Jack and Kush Cake.

Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas helped pass the 2020 legalization measure as chair of the House of Representatives Government Operations Committee and is now the Democratic nominee for Vermont’s secretary of state. She walked out of the Flora Cannabis store wearing a grinder and a sweatshirt with the FLORA logo.

“I’m growing my own plants this year, so I don’t really need to buy flower,” she told the Seven Days.

“It’s really exciting to see this day finally come after so many years of work to bring cannabis out of the prohibition era and into a legal and regulated market,” she added.

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