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Navigating Vermont’s New Cannabis Marketplace: Part 1

Part 1 – What You Need to Know to Purchase and Consume Cannabis in Vermont

Navigating Vermont’s New Cannabis Marketplace; A Three Part Series on Building a Positive Cannabis Experience

At long last, licensed cannabis retail stores are open in our beautiful Green Mountain state! It has been a slow roll for all of us activists, entrepreneurs and consumers alike but we are finally here. It will be a bumpy ride, just like it is in every other state that has taken up the great responsibility of transitioning this plant out of prohibition into a regulated marketplace. The best way we can support our pioneering businesses now is to visit them early and often. Go in with an open-mind and engage with the budtenders to get the answers you need to find the products that work best for you.

For many, this will be the first time entering a cannabis dispensary. There is a lot to learn about the governing rules and products available in each state. Read below to get answers on some frequently asked questions about the Vermont regulations and what is currently available in stores:

How old do I need to be to purchase?

21+. Bring a current, valid, government-issued ID; it will be checked at the entrance and then again at the point of sale.

Where can I purchase? 

Stores will be limited at first because the licensing process has been delayed, both for retailers and the manufacturers that supply them. At the time of this post, four retailers have been licensed and three stores opened on October 1st: Ceres Collaborative in Burlington, Flōra Cannabis in Middlebury and Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland. Of the three, Ceres is the only one that currently offers online ordering for express pick-up. Home delivery is currently not allowed in Vermont outside the Vermont Medical Cannabis Program. The fourth license, Vermont Bud Barn, is located in Brattleboro and has set a target opening date of October 17th. Visit the Vermont Cannabis Control Board website to get updates on newly licensed businesses and their locations.

What can I expect to pay? 

These first three stores are selling eighths for $35-$60. One gram pre-rolls are around $14 with discounts given on multi-packs. Ten count gummy packs are going for $18-$20 and vape cartridges for $35-$90 depending on the size and quality. All cannabis products are taxed 14% by the state of Vermont in addition to the standard 6% sales tax. Towns that participate in the 1% Local Option Sales Tax can apply this to cannabis as well. Consumers are looking at a combined 20%-21% tax rate across the board depending on location.

What forms of payment can I use?

Cash is queen in the cannabis industry. Due to federal prohibition, credit cards are not a legal payment option. Some dispensaries accept debit cards and others offer bank to bank transfer options, like dutchiePay, through their online ordering platform.

What products can I purchase?

All products for sale in the regulated market are made in Vermont by licensed operators. Vermont rules dictate that all infused products must be 5mg ∆9THC/serving or less. Servings must be clearly defined and multi-serving packages are limited to 50mg ∆9THC. Vermont has also put in place a 30% limit on ∆9THC for flowers and a 60% limit on ∆9THC for solid concentrates; the first state to set such potency limits. This means that concentrates like shatter, wax, butter, and rosin, will only exist if they are “diluted” with CBD or other minor cannabinoids. Expect hash & kief as the primary concentrate products until these rules change. This potency limit does not extend to vape cartridges, which are considered liquid concentrates. Flower and pre-rolls will dominate the market while we wait for more licensed manufacturers to come on line. Beverages, capsules, sublinguals and a wide variety of edibles will follow in the coming weeks and months.

Vermont has set a purchase limit of 28 grams (~ 1oz) of flower for each dispensary visit. It has created “weight equivalents” for this flower limit if buying products in different categories. The dispensary point of sale software will track this amount at each visit to make sure you are buying within the limit. You will also see the weight equivalents indicated on your receipt.

  • Flower: 28 grams
  • Concentrate: 14grams
  • Vape Carts: 16 x .5 gram or 8 x 1gram
  • Edibles at 50mg ∆9THC/package: 168

Where can I smoke/consume? 

Cannabis use is allowed only in individual homes or non-public housing. It is not allowed in any public place, cannabis retail store, car or place where the use of tobacco products is restricted. 

Can I travel with my cannabis products?

In Vermont? Yes. Across state or international borders? No. Cannabis is federally illegal in the United states. As such it is illegal to transport across jurisdictions. Plan on purchasing only what you can consume in Vermont.

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