Co-leads: Judy MacIsaac Robertson & Will Raap
Researching, exploring and proposing the creation of a new agricultural sector for Vermont built on legalized, recreational cannabis as a safe, artisanal and agricultural commodity. Recommending structures and regulatory frameworks for a legal cannabis industry that accomplish agreed goals in a safe, thoughtful way to secure an east coast regional competitive advantage for agriculture, business and tourism.
2. Youth Education/Prevention
Co-leads: Hillary Boone & Rob Williams
Researching and exploring the consequences and opportunities of a legalized cannabis economy for Vermont youth, as well as recommending strategies for youth and vulnerable population protection and education.
3. Business Development
Co-leads: Neil Joseph and Bill Lofy
Working in close coordination with industry and guided by, but not limited to, the RAND report to formulate a variety of economic sectors that will benefit from cannabis legalization.
4. Professional Services
Lead: Ken Merritt, esq.
Researching the wide variety of professional services — legal, financial, logistical, economic etc. — required to support a legalized cannabis industry in Vermont.
Long Term Initiatives
1. Industry Optimization
We are entering an era of ‘post prohibition’ of cannabis and other medicinal plants. Understand the industry value chain and range of opportunities for VT current and prospective businesses to participate in the ‘post prohibition’ economic development opportunity so the cannabis industry can be optimized for all VT stakeholders, creating an economic ecosystem. This will recognize models of regulation and taxation plus oversight and industry development suggested by RAND as well as other models more unique to VT. Economic development and business innovation opportunities will include: growing, production, extraction, distribution; certification and testing; edibles/specialty food/labeling; implementing a VT-wide industry approach to branding and communications like craft beer; banking and capitalization; etc.
2. Regulation and Taxation
Work in close coordination with Industry Optimization and guided by but not limited to the RAND report.
3. Education, Training and & Workforce Development
VT’s preeminent technical school build health, horticulture, and engineering curricular and demonstration capacity for the current medical cannabis industry, emerging medicinal plant industry and larger cannabis industry if it is legalized in some form.
4. Medicinal Plants Innovation Hub
VT to create a center of genetics, production, and processing innovation and excellence for medical marijuana and other medicinal plants already generating revenue for new VT businesses (eg. elderberry, aronia, burdock, chaga, dandelions, garlic, sunchokes, etc) like the Intervale Center had done for the local food/community ag movement.
5. Community Engagement
Next fall when the above working groups have done some work and have proposals, VTCC usefully engage a community input process to guide the Legislature on new bills or to help implement new legislation.