ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board began accepting pre-qualification applications to open cannabis businesses Wednesday March 16. Pre-qualification does not automatically grant an applicant a license. Once pre-qualified applicants have a year to get a full license.

The pre-qualification application requires a $500 fee that goes toward the $1,000 final application fee. The Cannabis Control Board said licensing fees are separate from the application fee.

“Pre-qualification is a voluntary process that the Cannabis Board created really in order to ensure that no one gets into this industry and signs a long term lease or gets into any capital expenditures only to find out when they’re applying for an operating license that they’re categorically disqualified from participating,” says Chair of the Board James Pepper, “and what we’re going to try and do is get a broad barometer of the entrepreneurial interest in the cannabis industry. We want to see roughly how many retailers we’re going to have. How many testing facilities. How many product manufacturers. And if there is an interest in joining this market.”

Pre-qualification requirements

An Operating Plan which includes:

  • The type and name of the business to be licensed, along with documentation that it’s registered to do business in Vermont.
  • Identity of any owners or other principals for the business
  • Name of main point of contact for the Cannabis Control Board
  • Type of license or licenses sought, and tier (if relevant)
  • Whether anyone mentioned in the operating plan is a past or present owner or principal of a cannabis business outside of Vermont

A background check is also required for pre-qualification. Applicants will have to submit the following:

  • Name, date of birth, and address for all applicants and principals of the cannabis establishment
  • A copy of driver’s licenses or other government issued ID’s
  • A description of any license denial, as well as any civil or administrative action taken against an applicant
  • A criminal history record check for federal, Vermont, and other state convictions.