BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — In March, Colleen McQuade made a decision: she wanted in on the budding marijuana industry in Vermont.
After months of hard work and lots of paperwork, McQuade’s shop, Juniper Lane Cannabis, will be the first licensed marijuana dispensary in Bennington. She received her license Wednesday. “Oh it’s the best feeling I’ve had in a really long time,” says an ecstatic McQuade, “a lot of hard work went into it. I feel like I’m radiating joy. I can’t stop smiling. I definitely shed a few tears of happiness earlier today while I was listening to the meeting.”
Vermont’s retail cannabis market opened just weeks ago on October 1. Only a dozen or so retail licenses have been approved by the Vermont Cannabis Control Board thus far. McQuade’s shop on Main Street in Bennington is one of them. While she has her license, she says there is still work to be done before doors can open to customers in a few weeks.
“Early November is our goal. It takes a little while to get our staff fully trained and get our people up to speed and get all the product on board,” explains McQuade. “There’s a lot of moving pieces still at this point I’m hoping by early November I can have a well stocked store and be open.”
As for pricing, Vermont has a 20 percent tax on cannabis. 14 percent is an excise tax on the product on top of the state’s 6 percent sales tax. McQuade says she has experience in the marijuana industry and hopes to offer what she calls “legacy pricing” for the product. “We’ll probably only have flower and maybe some limited edibles in the beginning but I’m trying to keep it as reasonable as I can. I think everyone should have affordable cannabis.”
Other shops are preparing to open in the Bennington area but are still waiting on a license.