Burlington dispensary operator Shayne Lynn is about to double-down on his medical marijuana gamble.
Thursday, the state conditionally approved his plans to open a second dispensary at the opposite end of the state -- in Brattleboro.
Reporter Kyle Midura: Will having two dispensaries lower the cost at both dispensaries.
Shayne Lynn: I think that's to be determined, but that would be the hope.
The approval is the fourth and final dispensary allowed under state law. Windham County has the second-most medical marijuana patients in the state behind Chittenden County -- 106 of the more than 800 in Vermont -- but the closest dispensary is currently in Montpelier.
Jeff Wallin oversees the state medical marijuana program and says the Burlington and Brattleboro facilities will be allowed to share resources. Most notably, the Burlington dispensary's marijuana growing facility. "However, one thing they'll be required to do in the ramp up when they're allowed to actually begin opening and actually begin working with patients is provide to us how they're going to keep the product lines separate and how they're going to keep their governance and paperwork and all that separate," Wallin said.
That's to meet state security rules that aim to prevent the medical marijuana from ending up on the street. All of the other applicants for the final certification, which Lynn will receive once his building passes inspections, proposed locations in the Southeast corner of the state. Lynn says he believes his proved successful because a partially shared operation and previous experience will allow for an earlier opening. "We're still taking a lot of risk in doing this," Lynn said.
Lynn publicly worried that the $30,000 licensure fee and patient limits might make financial viability impossible when he first opened in Burlington back in June, but thus far he has two-and-a-half times more patients than initially anticipated. He won't divulge if he's turning a profit, but the numbers will be available next year following a report to the legislature.
The number of patients currently served by dispensaries sits at 500, with a limit of 1,000 state-wide. Along with Burlington and Brattleborro to come, Vermont has shops in Brandon and Montpelier.
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