Medical marijuana patients in Vermont now have two additional choices when deciding how to procure their medicine. Champlain Valley Dispensary in Burlington and Vermont Patients Alliance in Montpelier are both open for business as the first two dispensaries in the state.
Dispensaries were approved by the legislature in May 2011 and dispensary owners have had to jump through numerous hoops to open up shop – including getting Federal Bureau of Investigations background checks and outfitting their dispensaries with required security systems and emergency alarms.
The rules – written by the Department of Public Safety – are slightly stricter than states in the West, notably that there will only be four dispensaries total in the state. Each dispensary has to cultivate their own cannabis. Patients also have to call ahead and make an appointment before heading over to buy some headies.
Shayne Lynn, who operates Champlain Valley Dispensary, says the state licensing expenses have taken their toll on his business already, and the $450/ounce prices he has reflect just that. He also hinted that the high prices prevent resale of the herb on the streets.
“We have to be concerned about the black market price,” Lynn told the Burlington Free Press. “We can’t undercut that price, because that might cause someone to resell it.”
Currently, Lynn has only a sativa strain and an indica strain, according to the Free Press. That is further broken down by quality, with A, B and “fancy” levels of quality.
Lynn says that he’s got discount herb going for $250 an ounce as well, and that as patients start signing up with the shop prices should go down.”Of course we’d like to be able to offer it for less,” Lynn told . “Is it possible is another question.” Considering quality ounces in Colorado sell for $150 to $200 in dispensaries, we’re pretty sure that it ispossible. Of course, shops out west have competition unlike Vermont’s state-limited market of four dispensaries.
Those high prices could lead people to other options including patients growing their own or banding together. One patient interviewed by WCAX said he was looking into starting a patient cooperative.
Check out the local report from WCAC below.