The following ‘Green Paper’ is provided by Greenbridge Consulting free of charge as a special feature for the 2021 Vermont Tourism Summit. Visit the Greenbridge Consulting website or email email@example.com to learn more about available cannabis consulting services.
CANNABIS & TOURISM IN VERMONT:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AND HOW TO START
KNOW THE BASICS
You don’t have to be a lawyer or a grower to tell your guests about the basic cannabis laws in Vermont. Support for legal cannabis is at an all-time high with over 68% of adults supporting legal cannabis, and baby boomers are the fastest-growing consumer group with a 75% increase in the last four years.
The point is that legal cannabis is a hot topic in American society at large, legal cannabis is popular in the northeast region and Canada from where our visitors originate, and Vermont has a unique cannabis culture which compliments.
That said, here are a few bullet points to memorize that will answer more than 90% of your guests’ questions about cannabis laws in Vermont.
It’s legal to grow THC cannabis at home and to possess up to an ounce in a closed container. CBD cannabis or ‘hemp’, is completely legal and widely available.
It’s legal for 21+ adults to consume THC cannabis, but not in public places and never in a vehicle or before driving.
Presently, you can’t buy THC cannabis at the store — even if you’re a medical patient — but Vermont is expecting over-the-counter sales by October 2022.
Gifting and trading cannabis between 21+ adults is legal, but it can’t be exchanged for anything of value, which means I can’t include it with your room/tour/etc.
DECIDE YOUR COMFORT LEVEL AND CREATE YOUR OWN POLICY
Confusingly for tourists, it’s legal to consume cannabis — many from neighboring states like Massachusetts will have their own — but they don’t know where it’s socially acceptable to light up. While you can’t provide guests with a smoking lounge, you can lay down some basic ground rules for informing cannabis use (or not) on your grounds.
- Do I mind if 21+ guests consume cannabis on the property? Would I proactively call myself ‘420-friendly’ or proactively ban cannabis from my property?
- Are there specific areas of the property or hours of the day where cannabis consumption is strictly off-limits?
- If an event coordinator asks about the 21+ event attendees consuming cannabis, is there a designated location for cannabis consumption at private events like weddings?
KNOW YOUR LOCAL CANNABIS RESOURCES
Beyond the absolute basics mentioned above about what’s basically legal/illegal in Vermont, there’s no expectation for you to be an expert.
That said, you have cannabis experts in your community RIGHT NOW, and by knowing your local cannabis businesses and resources, you can support local small businesses and provide your guests with the best information available.
Since the cultivation of CBD hemp and formulation of CBD products is identical to THC cannabis, your local CBD hemp store or farm are going to be the best possible resources. Who’s your local brick-and-mortar CBD store? Better yet, is there a local hemp farmer or maker to whom you can directly introduce your guests?
NETWORK WITH THE CANNABIS COMMUNITY
While you need to know your local cannabis businesses, it’s also crucial that cannabis businesses know YOU! In the past, stoner stereotypes were negative, but now cannabis consumers are a legal, valuable, and fast-growing segment of the population and they want to support businesses that don’t judge their cannabis consumption.
You might not be ready to advertise your business publicly as, ‘420-friendly’, but there are plenty of other opportunities to let cannabis consumers and cannabis entrepreneurs know that you’ll gladly welcome their business (as long as they follow your cannabis policy).
Attending cannabis events is a great way to meet and tap into this community — the 3rd Annual Vermont Cannabis Convention is scheduled for June this year and Vermontijuana hosts a number of cannabis events each year.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Eli Harrington is the founder of Greenbridge Consulting and is a cannabis reform advocate, registered hemp farmer, registered lobbyist, and has over six years of experience with cannabis events, policy, and since 2019 has coordinated the first and only cannabis farm tours in Vermont.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-424-7642 for consulting services related to cannabis licensing, incorporating cannabis into your business, or communication services ranging from public and media relations to video production.