Vermont expected to ramp up cannabis growing capacity

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 3:14 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Despite the cold weather, cannabis growers are planning for the coming growing season, and state officials expect a ramping up of crop yields.

Year one of Vermont’s legalized market which opened in October was highlighted by a high demand and limited supply, which officials say they expected. That’s partly because the first licenses weren’t available until the middle of the growing season.

They say some farmers just started small. About 120,000 square feet of indoor canopy for growing has been licensed but the Vermont Cannabis Control Board board estimates only about 88,000 is being used. For outdoor growing, they have licensed 450,000 square feet, but it’s estimated only 225,000 is being used.

The board’s Nellie Marvel says that wiggle room means year two should be strong. “I think what we are seeing right now is a lot of people planning for year two of the market, thinking to themselves, ‘Okay. how much might I grow this next year.’ So, I think there is going to be a lot of room for growth in the second year,” she said.

She says she doesn’t expect year two to be perfect either and anticipates it will be a few years before the supply and demand equation balances out. They estimate the state will need about 500,000 square feet of growing space for supply to catch up with demand.

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