Vermonters prepare for Retail Cannabis Shops to open this Fall

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The Cannabis Control Board will be reviewing its first retail applications next week

SHELDON - The Lanza Family has been focused on growing a lot of green crops on their parcel of land, tucked away in Sheldon, Vermont.

"We've been growing hemp here going on three years now, going on four. Now we're also licensed for adult use cannabis," Jane Lanza said.

Jane and Ben Lanza, who own the Family Tree Cannabis Co. and Family Tree Hemp Co., are thrilled to have received their cannabis manufacturing license from Vermont's Cannabis Control Board just in time to get their products ready to sell in retail stores when they begin to open this fall.

"We are going to have our indoor flower ready to go to stores when they're ready to open as well as our pre-rolls and some of our chemical-free concentrate and then, when this crop is dried out in the middle of November, we'll also have sun-grown products out there on the shelves," Jane Lanza said.

The Lanza's are among the hundreds of Vermonters who are jumping into the growing cannabis industry alongside people like Joe Verga, who hopes to get the green light to turn his CBD business into a retail cannabis shop in the heart of downtown Burlington.

"I've been patient, but I'm very eager. We need to get going," said Verga, owner of Green Leaf Central.

He's anxious to have a taxed and regulated cannabis market in the Green Mountain State where he thinks the industry will thrive once people start to open up shop.

"We have the best ice cream (and) the best maple syrup. Why not give them the best marijuana?" he asked.

James Pepper, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, said board members will be reviewing the first retail cannabis applications at a meeting next week.

"The numbers we're seeing really project a healthy start to this market," said Pepper.

But he wants to remind Vermonters that when shops open, they should have realistic expectations.

"Early supply is not going to meet the demand. I think people really need to kind of understand that it's going to take a little while for cultivators to harvest and get their products tested and manufactured and packaged and into the retail stores," Pepper said.

That's where manufacturers, like the Family Tree Cannabis Co., come in.

"It's been a lot of hard work and a lot of triumph," Jane Lanza said.

They're ready to keep expanding their business as Vermont's cannabis industry continues to grow.

"In the second or third year of the adult place market here in Vermont, we'd like to have our own shop in Sheldon out on Route 105 and create agritourism experiences for people," Jane Lanza said.

She said it's an opportunity to generate a lot of economic growth from their beloved cannabis crop.

Region: Vermont