At the most recent meeting, the Vermont Cannabis Control Board (CCB) approved 30 cultivation licenses, including an outdoor ‘tier two’ license for, ‘Vermontijuana’, which allows for cultivation and harvesting of up to 312 THC cannabis plants.
Despite the board approval, the cultivation license is still conditional and will require additional verification, said Eli Harrington, the Head Cultivator and Founder of the newly-licensed Vermontijuana Farmstead and its parent company, Vermontijuana Ventures.
“It’s been a challenging process for sure, but it’s the first time for everyone involved and the CCB has done a great job of keeping everyone informed while they – and we – all work through the different regulatory hurdles and hoops that come along with THC cannabis.”
Harrington was issued the 30th cultivation license of the July 13 weekly board meeting and joins a list of 32 additional outdoor-only cultivators, per the CCB website. Except for Vermontijuana who will cultivate 312 plants and a few others, the vast majority of the provisional outdoor cultivation licenses issued thus far are for ‘Tier 1’, allowing for 125 plants.
As an outspoken advocate and cofounder of Heady Vermont and a number of cannabis events – including ‘The Headies’ growers cup – Harrington is a familiar face in the Vermont cannabis community, which is how he says he’s learned best practices for cultivating ‘sungrown’ cannabis outdoors in the harsh NEK climate.
“I’ve been extremely lucky that cannabis – including CBD – has introduced me to an incredible group of mentors who have generously shared information, instruction, and genetics with me, starting with Mark Tucci. If Vermontijuana is successful this season, it’ll be thanks to those friends and strangers-turned-friends with whom I’ve spent hundreds of hours in Vermont fields over these past few years…”
The plan for the cannabis cultivated at the Irasburg farmstead location is to grade and process the flower into compostable 3.5g ‘eighth’ containers, pre-rolled joints, and turned into other value-added products, including a Vermontijuana beverage.
Harrington says that Vermontijuana is forming a collective with other small outdoor cultivators and has a conditional sales contract with one retail dispensary applicant in Burlington, and is in active discussions with four others across the state.
To supplement and promote the cannabis business, Vermontijuana also offers cannabis farm tours in partnership with Off Piste Farm, a fellow licensed cannabis cultivator located near the world-famous mountain-biking hub, Kingdom Trails and the nearby Burke Mountain Resort.
The eighteen-acre farmstead produces eggs, which they sell at nearby Parker Pie, as well as pasture-raised poultry, which Harrington processes on the 18-acre property and sells as whole birds online.
Throughout the provisionally-licensed Vermontijuana Farmstead cultivation season this summer and fall, Harrington will continue to offer cannabis consulting services via Greenbridge Consulting and producing cannabis events in Vermont and beyond.
With background checks and initial licensing approved by the CCB, the final steps for Vermontijuana receiving the formal cultivation license will include confirming banking, insurance, and additional details.
“People have been waiting decades for this opportunity, we’re grateful and appreciative to be here and are prepared to navigate more bumps along the way.
Like Hunter S. Thompson said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride…”.