Equity is a consideration in who gets licenses to sell marijuana. The board wanted to prevent applicants from moving into economic opportunity zones just to get an advantage in getting licenses.
While the earliest date retail cannabis establishments can begin selling their products to the public is still more than a year away, many are getting ready to set up shop.
The governor signed several pieces of legislation Monday as the remaining few bills that have passed the House and Senate are clearing his desk this week.
In its first meeting last week, members of the board stressed that establishing a “diverse and equitable” cannabis market would be a priority.
Budget talks nearly stalled this week, but on Thursday the House and Senate struck a deal.
The legislation would establish a fund to provide loans and grants to help people of color and others who have been affected by previous marijuana laws open cannabis businesses.
Tuesday’s decision to allow retail marijuana sales came down to 31 votes.
The lawmakers are considering a loan fund to help people of color and others hurt by outmoded marijuana laws to launch businesses in the new retail marijuana system.
As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, at least 10 municipalities had approved retail cannabis shops on Town Meeting Day.
About 80% of the state’s municipalities are opting for Covid-19-safe elections this year.
Legislators worry that the slow pace in appointing Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board could delay the rollout of the state’s marijuana market by eight to 12 months.
Unknowns abound, but there’s hope that legal weed could bring a needed boost to the Northeast Kingdom.
Over the next few years, state officials will stand up a regulated statewide market for marijuana, and issue licenses for marijuana cultivators and dispensaries.
Under the law, recreational cannabis dispensaries can open up in Vermont as soon as October 2022.