Neighbors’ complaints lead to fine for small Vermont cannabis operation

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 6:02 PM EST
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HYDE PARK, Vt. (WCAX) - A small marijuana producer in Hyde Park plans to move his home and his business after complaints from neighbors who believed the business wasn’t up to snuff. And the Vermont Cannabis Control Board said the complaints turned out to have some truth to them.

The complaints against Green River Cannabis led the Cannabis Control Board to investigate the business.

“Any sort of complaint that we get that has the potential to impact human health, we really prioritize following up on those complaints,” said Nellie Marvel, the outreach and education manager for the Vermont Cannabis Control Board.

The board found Green River Cannabis had fallen out of compliance in a number of ways and cited the business with recordkeeping, packaging and fungicide violations. The violations could have led to fines of up to $20,000 but Green River got off with a $5,000 fine instead.

The board says they’re taking this approach because the market is so new. They’re working with the company to get them into compliance.

Green River Cannabis has already had their fine lowered to $2,500 and if they follow the plan, it could be wiped away altogether.

“We’re really trying to do an education-first approach with our licensees. There’s a long history of government really cracking down on folks involved in the legacy market. So we’re really trying to build trust and work with people to bring them back up to compliance,” Marvel said.

Even with the reduced fines, Green River is still leaving Hyde Park. They say they just don’t feel comfortable there after their neighbors’ complaints. In a statement, they said they’re " ... aware of the concerns some people have about cannabis, but the response from our neighbors has gone from concern to harassment and we have no desire to be subject to that kind of negativity, nor will we stand for it, or raise our children around it.”

The Cannabis Control Board says this isn’t the first time they’ve seen compliance violation issues since the market opened but say they’re not worried and want to move forward by providing education and resources for people to engage in this marketplace effectively for the benefit of both consumers and producers.