Vermont's cannabis market has seen modest growth as legal adult-use inch toward a legal framework, while medical market regulations favor patient access over revenue.
Vermont's Medical Market At The Moment
The Green Mountain State generated $20 million in medical sales in 2018, according to data from BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research. That figure is forecasted to dip to $17 million by 2024.
The adult-use market is expected to reach $91 million by that time.
Vermont's medical cannabis market has been legal since 2004, but it still hasn't seen full revenue potential either due in part to current regulations.
Matt Simon, New England political director with the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), told Benzinga the state's five licensed dispensaries and home cultivation allowances help keep the market activity low.
"Consumers choose to grow their own or purchase from unregulated sources," Simon said. "This won't change until more patients and consumers begin to believe that licensed retailers are their best option for obtaining cannabis."
Current laws are less than ideal for patients, Simon says, citing regulatory overseers as one area of concern.
"It makes no sense for medical cannabis to be regulated by a law enforcement agency such as the Department of Public Safety, but that is still the way it's being handled in Vermont," he added.
Whatever the case may be, Vermont's patient enrollment is on the downturn.
Vermont's patient enrollment began to fall after its peak enrollment in 2018, declining by 400 enrollees in 2019, per BDS Analytics and Arcview.
Meanwhile, dispensary sales dipped between 25%-30% during the period.
"How [adult use] affects the market in years to come will depend to a large extent on whether or not the legislature passes S. 54 in some form, and if so, what the details of the policy are," Simon said.
Adult Use Moving Along
The new year saw lawmakers pushing to pass legislation that would allow for cannabis to be sold and regulated.
The following month, the state House of Representatives gave their initial approval on a bill that the Senate had passed with a veto-proof majority the year prior.
Also, Gov. Phil Scott showed a willingness to use cannabis tax revenue to fund a universal after-school program.
Simon says the group remains optimistic about the passage of the adult-use bill. He explained how the measure could benefit Vermont.
"This would be a good development for patients and adult consumers," said Simon. "And it would be beneficial for new and existing cannabis businesses in the state and for the economy as a whole."
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