The Cannabis Story

I still have trouble believing that I will not be arrested if I carry marijuana in my pocket or in my car. I came of age at a time when the drug was considered to be on par with heroin and other deadly substances. Some people were even making reference to the 1936 movie Reefer Madness when they tried to show how bad they thought marijuana was.

If you smoked it in your college dorm room you had to make sure you put a towel at the bottom of the door so no one would know what was happening inside. You risked expulsion from school and possible arrest.

No one could have predicted that this psychoactive substance that really is in a class all it’s own, would someday become legal for recreational use in 24 states and in D.C. Society has changed a lot and the federal government is moving to reclassify cannabis so it is not in the same class as heroin. Federal legalization is still not on the radar.

Theory Wellness Announces Brattleboro Recreational Dispensary Opening on Friday, December 30th

Theory Wellness (“Theory” or “the Company”) will open its doors to their adult-use dispensary in Vermont this Friday, December 30th at 9 am. The new retail location is located at 768 Putney Road in Brattleboro, in the Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center. This newest location will be their eighth location, but will have a different approach from their operations in Massachusetts and Maine.

“Vermont is one of the most interesting regulatory models on the East Coast for cannabis,” states Brandon Pollock, CEO of Theory Wellness.  “The emphasis on streamlined licensing for craft farmers will allow for a terrific mix of top-quality products in our dispensary. By focusing on retail, we look forward to showcasing  this unique network of local cultivators, many of which have been producing high-quality flower for years.”

Theory Wellness Announces Expansion into Vermont Recreational Cannabis Market with Brattleboro Location

Theory Wellness (“Theory” or “the Company”) has announced plans to enter the Vermont recreational cannabis market with a retail location in Brattleboro. The announcement comes on the eve of recreational cannabis sales, expected to begin as early as October 1st. Vermont will soon become the 3rd East Coast state to offer recreational cannabis sales.

Newfane to Vote on Retail Cannabis

Newfane voters can weigh in on whether to allow retail cannabis sales at a Special Town Meeting to be held on September 20 at 6 pm at the Newbrook Fire Station. There will be in-person voting only.

An informational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday August 23 at 6 pm:   ID: 972 2791 1757   Passcode 352680

Cannabis Establishments and Brattleboro Zoning Regulations Presentation on May 2, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

On May 2, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. Brattleboro Planning Department staff will be presenting on Cannabis Establishments and Zoning at the regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting. During the meeting, staff will present maps that show where retail cannabis businesses are allowed, accounting for zoning and proximity to specific locations prohibited by state law. They will also discuss where other cannabis establishments, as allowed under state licensing, can be located. The public is invited to come and provide feedback. The meeting will be held in a hybrid format.

Brattleboro Planning Commission Agenda for January 3, 2022

The Brattleboro Planning Commission will meet at 6:00 pm on Monday, January 3, 2022 in the Hanna Cosman Room at the Brattleboro Municipal Center (230 Main Street) and on Zoom. The physical location for this meeting will be the Hanna Cosman Room at the Municipal Center, 230 Main Street, where everyone will be required to wear a face covering and maintain social distance. The public is strongly encouraged to attend this meeting using Zoom.

Brattleboro Planning Commission Agenda for Monday, December 6, 2021

1. Agenda Amendments
2. Announcements

6:10 -6:15 Approve Minutes of November 1, 2021

6:15 – 6:45 Discussion of RTM Article to stabilize municipal tax of specific solar & other renewable energy plants
Potential Motion: To approve the Memorandum to the Selectboard recommending the insertion of its stated article and recommending certain criteria for stated tax stabilization program.

Cannabis is Coming – Will Town Taxpayers be the Losers?


As some may already know, I was appointed by the Vermont Senate to represent municipalities’ interests on the Cannabis Control Board’s Advisory Committee. While I wouldn’t claim to have the level of “expertise in municipal issues” that some other longer-serving Selectboard members in Vermont might have, I feel that my past work advocating for the rights of towns, cities and villages does give me some insights, and I’m doing my best to represent local taxpayers during many rapid deliberations over the shape of the upcoming retail cannabis marketplace.

I want to make very clear my opposition to a hastily made decision by one of our sub-committees, the Market Structure, Licensing, Taxes and Fees Sub-Committee, without reasonable input taken and considered from the Vermont municipalities. This committee has evidently already voted to “cap” what local town clerks can charge for a cannabis license to $100 yearly, a laughable amount considering the fact that the state portion of yearly fees being currently considered are between $5,000 and $10,000.

Tim Wessel Appointed to VT Cannabis Advisory Committee

From Pro Tim Becca Balint:

“3/ Two appts to the Advisory Cmte. that will guide the VT Cannabis Control Board—@TimWesselVT , a Selectboard member & former Chair from Bratt., will represent municipalities, & Chris Walsh, Director of Sales & Bus. Dev. at @terraveratweets, will represent the Cannabis industry.”

If Marijuana Sales Start at Stores in Vermont 2022 Then Vermonters Need to Know If That Is Legal Under Federal Laws!

May 28, 2021 U.S. Congressman, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) reintroduced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) to remove marijuana from the list of prohibited substances on the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The bill includes an excise tax on sales of marijuana and would allow companies to conduct interstate trade and use banking services.

Ballot measures or bills to legalize marijuana have passed in 18 states, each with different regulations and taxes.

Cannabis “Reeferendum”

Article II – “Shall the Town [of Brattleboro] permit the operation of licensed cannabis retailers subject to such municipal ordinance and regulation as the Selectboard may lawfully adopt and implement?”

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It will now be legal to purchase spinach in state-approved shops, so long as it is not too fresh. Our political leaders hope that legalizing this popular vegetable with government-regulated distribution through specially-favored retailers, will squeeze out illegal growers and criminal spinach-pushers.

Seriously folks: 
I am having a hard time deciding how to vote. If I vote “no,” my vote will increase the anti-pot tally and be seen as opposition to legal marijuana. If I vote, “yes,” I will be voting for state-sponsored restraint of trade, meant to harm those of our friends who for decades took risks practicing illegal horticulture and free-enterprise, keeping us supplied.

A Statement from the Brattleboro Planning Commission Regarding Retail Cannabis and Zoning

In October 2020, S.54, Act 164 became law. This legislation outlines how Vermont will establish retail cannabis sales. The implementation of the legislation is still very much a work in progress. The Act empowers communities to create a local cannabis control commission and for such commission to condition issuance of a local license on any zoning bylaw adopted pursuant to 24 V.S.A §4414.

The purpose of this memo is to provide information on what zoning controls are authorized under the legislation. Many details have been left to be decided on by the State Cannabis Control Board which will be formed in 2021. As currently written, the law allows the following types of zoning regulations:

Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting Agenda – December 22, 2020

Shall the voters of Brattleboro be allowed to vote to opt-in to retail sales of cannabis? The Brattleboro Selectboard will decide it the question will be asked on March 2 ballots at their next special meeting.

They’ll also accept a planning grant and continue with their review of the FY22 budget, which is a great time for Representative Town Meeting Reps to pay attention and report back to all of us about what the budget will contain.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – The Intent of Representative Town Meeting, and Budgets

brattleboro selectboard dec 3 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard had an extended discussion of the appropriateness of giving the new sustainability coordinator $10,000 for community programs and outreach. Was this what Representative Town Meeting intended? Will the line item grow out of control?

Brattleboro is joining with other Vermont municipalities and VLCT to request some time, some authority, and some money when and if commercial cannabis operations are legalized. It is expected in the coming legislative session. The board continued discussions of FY21 and signed on for some training.

Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – December 3, 2019

Municipal authority over commercial cannabis will be discussed for the first time by the Brattleboro Selectboard at their next regular meeting. The last time the board discussed legal cannabis was probably the 1920’s.

The board will learn what “unconscious bias and cultural humility” training is and whether they should accept a proposal to undertake it., continue their discussion of the FY21 proposed budget, and listen to whatever else you’d like to tell them during Public Participation.

Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce Cannabis Forum

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont, August 15, 2019 – Cannabis!  The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce invites the public to attend The Growing Business of Cannabis:  A panel discussion on the ins and outs of the cannabis industry.  This Chamber Breakfast Series event will take place in Brattleboro on Thursday, September 5; 7:30am-9:30am at the American Legion, 32 Linden Street.  Tickets are $20 and include a full buffet breakfast.  RSVP is required.