The Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention opened at the Champlain Valley Expo this weekend. The recreational use of marijuana has been legal in the state for almost a year. And this year's convention doubled in size from 63 vendors last year, to 130 this weekend. Many at the convention said that growth mimics the growth of the industry at large.
Still, Matt Lindemer of Lindy's Candies and Lamoille County Therapeutics said he's "chomping at the bit," when it comes to making "tax and regulate" into law in Vermont. While his business is in hemp products, he says he's ready to grow.
Kathy Blume works for Heady Vermont, which hosted the convention. She said she's frustrated lawmakers didn't get a tax and regulate bill through this session.
"There is time pressure," she said, as other states like Massachusetts gain ground.
Plans to expand into the cannabis market are not universal among hemp-related business owners, however. Denise Stubbs of Vermont Hemp Nursery in Plainfield said she's not vying to get into the cannabis market. "We're a hemp company," she said.
The Vermont Senate passed a tax-and-regulate proposal earlier this session, but it won't be acted upon in the House before January.