Saturday is day one for retail sales of adult-use cannabis — aka marijuana — in Vermont.
The state is allowing businesses to sell products containing THC, the main active, intoxicating ingredient in cannabis. More than two dozen businesses throughout Vermont have applied to the state’s Cannabis Control Board for retail permits, but the board has awarded only a handful so far.
A representative of one of those businesses, based in Burlington, told the Burlington Free Press this week that it plans to begin adult-use cannabis sales on Saturday. Others in Chittenden County said they’re targeting later opening dates in a matter of days, weeks or months.
Here’s a glimpse at what to expect this Saturday, and beyond, in Chittenden County:
The College Street business that already sells cannabis-derived CBD products expects to be open and selling adult-use THC products at 10 a.m. Saturday, chief operating officer Russell Todia told the Free Press in an email Wednesday. “We are waiting for a few final items from the state Cannabis Control Board, but expect to receive these in time for opening on Saturday,” according to Todia.
He said Ceres plans to sell several varieties of cannabis flower “from our own grow and from other licensed craft cultivators,” as well as pre-rolled joints, vape cartridges, edible gummies, distillate hash and salves. “We expect our product options to increase over the next few weeks and months.”
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Ceres is bracing for sizable crowds on the first day of retail sales, according to Todia.
“We know many Vermonters have been looking forward to this historic date, and we’re excited to serve them,” Todia said in the email. “We have delayed getting the word out on our official opening date, which may impact the number of people who come out — but should there be a crowd, we feel ready.”
Ceres has a “full team” on hand to serve customers, according to Todia, and the business has contracted with Chocolate Thunder Security for “our first few weeks to help with any crowd control.” Customers potentially stuck in long lines Saturday may be heartened to know the store has two all-gender restrooms.
Green State Gardener, Burlington
Another business that already sells CBD products in Burlington, Green State Gardener on Pine Street, had hoped it would receive a retail license Wednesday from the Cannabis Control Board that would allow it to open for sales Saturday. The board only awarded one license Wednesday, to a retailer in Brattleboro.
Green State Gardener now hopes for approval next week, which would allow the business to open for adult-use cannabis sales Friday, Oct. 7, according to chief operations officer Brooke Jenkins.
“We’ll be opening with indoor and greenhouse flower,” Jenkins said. “We have gummies coming next week — just waiting on the final testing of those.”
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Jenkins said Green State Gardener will also eventually be adding tinctures, capsules and vape products as well as pre-rolls. The business will also sell accessories such as rolling papers and a few glass pipes.
Green State Gardener has hired in-house security, installed security cameras and worked with fire officials to set a safe capacity limit for the store as the business prepares for possible large crowds, according to Jenkins.
“It’s hard to predict. I think there will be crowds. People are going to be excited and curious to come out,” Jenkins said. “It’s a soft launch but we’re excited and we’re ready.”
Other Chittenden County retail vendors
Here are the tentative plans of other potential adult-use cannabis retailers in Chittenden County that responded to queries from the Free Press:
Magic Mann, Essex – The store that already sells CBD products in the Essex Experience complex expects to open for adult-use cannabis sales in mid-October, owner Meredith Mann told the Free Press in an email Tuesday.
She is expecting big crowds the first few weeks. “We are grateful to be located in a place that has a sheltered area for crowd control, security we trust, systems in place, and a public bathroom a few doors down, as well (as) Porto potties on the green,” Mann wrote.
Magic Mann is holding a legalization celebration from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at the Double E movie theater at Essex Experience.
Green Leaf Central, Burlington – A representative of this business in downtown Burlington wrote in an email that “realistically we are looking to open in November.”
Grass Queen, Burlington – This business is eyeing an opening date of Dec. 1, according to owner Jahala Dudley.
Bern Gallery, Burlington – Business owner Tito Bern said Wednesday that he’s looking at opening for retail adult-use cannabis sales as soon as the day after Thanksgiving — Friday, Nov. 25 — or possibly Dec. 1. The Main Street shop that already sells cannabis-related glassware expects to sell cannabis flower, drinks, prerolls, edibles, concentrates and other products. Bern Gallery will also have a window where visitors can look in to see cannabis-product manufacturing taking place, similar to an open kitchen in a restaurant.
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Bern said his business will have a security team in place, including a person stationed at the front door “every minute” Bern Gallery is open. He thinks the first week of business will be “intense” once retail sales begin.
“I think people will be really excited for that,” Bern said. “All cannabis stores will find homeostasis in a sense; that huge rush at the beginning won’t persist forever. It will be a moment in time.”