US (VT): Growers and retailers warn of cannabis shortage ahead of retail sales

A late start for both outdoor and indoor growers, compounded by supply chain and testing problems, will mean a limited supply of adult-use cannabis available in retail stores when they start opening for business on Oct. 1, according to growers, regulators, and retailers.

“We’re looking at probably 20, maybe 30 outdoor licensees with products this year,” said Geoffrey Pizzutillo, executive director of the Vermont Growers Association. “That’s nothing.”

In retrospect, James Pepper, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, said the board should have started to issue outdoor growing licenses in February, allowing growers to plant their seedlings in seedling pots ahead of the growing season. 

Instead, Pepper said, the first outdoor growing licenses were not awarded until May. The process was two-tiered because the board prioritized issuing licenses for applicants who helped the board meet social equity and economic opportunity goals before pivoting to the broader group of outdoor growers who applied. He said the board finished issuing licenses to outdoor growers by July.

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