US (VT): Cannabis breeder bring his West Coast skills to the NEK

Dan Pomerantz seemed tense. He was eager to show a reporter around his 200-acre farm in Craftsbury and explain his plans for creating a world-class cannabis breeding and cultivating facility in the Northeast Kingdom.

But Pomerantz was also awaiting an important phone call and needed good cellphone service, which is spotty on his sprawling mountainside farm. That afternoon, the Vermont Cannabis Control Board was due to issue two rulings on his application to become a licensed cultivator. One would decide whether his three adjacent properties constitute one location. The other would determine whether Pomerantz qualifies as a "social equity applicant."

By law, the CCB can award this preferential status to applicants who are Black or Hispanic, who come from communities disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition, or who were once incarcerated on pot-related offenses. In 2012, Pomerantz was convicted of felony marijuana possession in Nevada and served a day in jail. Were he to qualify, the CCB would waive his $19,500 application and licensing fees.

"I'm just trying to do something that is bettering the people around me, bettering the environment, and bettering my community," Pomerantz said as he anxiously awaited the call from his attorney.

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