How to start a commercial grow operation in Vermont

The application window for medical marijuana growing operation licenses is currently closed in Vermont. While all five state licenses (given to dispensaries, which are also licensed to grow) are already issued, there are currently five dispensaries and/or growing operations in operation and more are expected to open once the patient base expands.

Read more about the details of starting a medical marijuana growing operation in Vermont below. You will find information regarding fees and legal requirements, as well as a list of links with companies that can help you throughout the application process.

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    When was cannabis made legal
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    There were several attempts to legalize medical cannabis in Vermont in the past. The first one was made in 2004 when the Vermont General Assembly passed S. 76, An Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness.

    An amended law passed in 2014 that removed limits on patients able to shop from dispensaries and also loosened the criteria for medical certification. Currently, only medical marijuana is legalized in Vermont.

    An attempt was made to legalize recreational cannabis via legislature in 2016, but it proved ineffective. It is believed that Vermont will be the first state to make recreational cannabis legal via the legislative process, as the state does not allow voter referenda.

    How many marijuana businesses are there in the state

    Currently, no more than 5 state-licensed growing operations are allowed, and the state has awarded the appropriate licenses- the 4 marijuana growing operations are currently operational.

    Profits of the cannabis industry in Vermont

    Profits of the cannabis industry in Vermont
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    There is a patient base of around 4,500 patients in Vermont, according to the Department of Public Safety. Marijuana sales in 2016 have reached $7,600,000 and are projected to rise to $13,500,000 by 2021. Also, by 2021, sales are expected to reach $51,500,000

    License requirements

    Currently, the state is not issuing further marijuana growing operation licenses, and there is no telling when the application period will open again.

    Prospective grow operation owners will need to prove the safety of the proposed cannabis cultivation facility, as well as the security measures that are required by law. In addition, applicants must present a business plan that explains the plans for expansion during the first years of operations.

    To be seriously considered, a financial plan should accurately describe the amount that will be required for the growing operation to remain afloat for the first three years, as well as proof of investor interest. Also, interested parties should submit standard organizational documents of the legal entity that applies for a marijuana growing facility permit.

    Financial requirements

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    Currently, there is only one license, titled “dispensary,” and it applies to growing operations as well. This license enables the holder to grow, manufacture, and/or sell marijuana.

    Below, you will find a detailed breakdown of all the necessary financial requirements regarding the licensing of new marijuana grow operations in Vermont.

    Application Fees for growing operations are as follows:

    • Growing operation application fee: $ 2,500
    • Registered Caregiver Application Fee: $50

    Licensing Fees for growing operations are as follows:

    • Initial growing operation registration fee: $ 20,000
    • Renewal growing operation registration fee: $ 25,000

    How much does a marijuana growing operation in Vermont make?

    Marijuana grow operations in Vermont generally bring anywhere from $50,000 a year up to millions, or even tens of millions of dollars.


    The time frame varies greatly on how long it takes to get a cannabis growing operation up and running, but it can often take one year or more to get finances in order, acquire necessary licenses, get suppliers and employees lined up, etc.

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      Looking to start a marijuana growing operation in Vermont? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.

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        4 comments on “How to start a commercial grow operation in Vermont”

        1. I am a MMJ patient in Springfield VT. I never learned how to grow. I’m physically disabled from a rare connective tissue disease. I am actively looking for a caretaker who does know how to grow & is willing to be my grower-only caretaker (VT allows for this; caretakers do not need to do everything like other states).

        2. Can a disabled veteran get help with the license fees if he has the land and knowledge needed to grow for other sellers

          • I believe so. I know for certain that Vermont built in social justice initiatives into the recreational cannabis legalization legislation. I personally would think this includes all disenfranchised people including the disabled (as I am as well).