‘It’s like Christmas Eve’: Cannabis cultivators prepare for start of pot sales

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 4:25 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:40 PM EDT
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SHELDON SPRINGS, Vt. (WCAX) - Recreational marijuana dispensaries in Vermont can open as early as Sat., Oct. 1, should they have the license in hand to do so. And the whole industry is scrambling ahead of the big day. That includes cultivators, who have been waiting for this moment for years.

“It’s like Christmas Eve, 11th hour,” said Jane Lanza of the Family Tree Hemp and Cannabis Company.

With less than 24 hours until the first recreational pot sales begin in Vermont, cultivators are now undergoing what they say is a race to the finish line.

“We’ve been up all night long preparing for this, unwrapping or unraveling of the marketplace here,” Jane said.

The Family Tree Hemp and Cannabis Co. is a 600-plant grow operation in Franklin County. Ben and Jane Lanza own the business and are excited, to say the least.

Jane and Ben Lanza
Jane and Ben Lanza(WCAX)

“Manufacturers, cultivators, retailers, you know we’re all bouncing emails off of each other late last night and getting ready. So, it’s a lot more exciting than cramming for a test, but that’s what it feels like. It’s reminding us of college a little bit,” Ben Lanza said.

The Lanzas have been working exclusively with CBD for the past four years. After being granted multiple recreational marijuana licenses, that’s since changed.

“So we use our cultivation license to grow the plants, select them, phenotype, choose what we want for oil, flower, smoke, etc... And then we use our manufacturing license to extract it into a solventless oil and we make all chemical-free products,” Jane explained.

What will be on store shelves as of Oct. 1 is pretty much exclusive to flower and prerolled joints, at least from Family Tree.

The Lanzas do make CBD edibles using a certified cannabis kitchen and are planning to use that knowledge to make THC edibles. But they say those will be rolling out a bit later than the rest of their products.

“As the law is written, CBD manufacturers can’t also do THC in the same facility. So many of them are having to await their licensure before being able to help with those products,” Jane said.

Their indoor-grown flower is en route to stores, specifically FLORA in Middlebury and Mountain Girl in Rutland, though they hope to expand as more dispensaries open. They say their soft gels and oils which you can ingest won’t be far behind.

“Sugar-added and skin care and stuff will follow toward the new year,” Jane said.

Regardless of the form it takes, cultivators like the Lanzas are now able to sell their product out on an open market, and they say that is a feat in itself.

“Feels like it’s been a long time coming, and the idea that we can now share all of the different cannabinoids as medicine and not just some of them is awesome,” Ben said.

The Lanzas say they’re happy they didn’t have to leave Vermont to pursue their business ventures.

They also want to wish everyone in the industry the best of luck and congratulations as things get going.

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