BRATTLEBORO -- The Department of Public Safety has given conditional approval for the state's fourth marijuana dispensary, slated to open in Brattleboro.
Southern Vermont Wellness has been awarded Vermont's fourth and final marijuana license to serve registered patients and their caregivers.
Southern Vermont Wellness is registered with Vermont's Secretary of State Corporations Division under the name Shayne Lynn, who is executive director of Champlain Valley Dispensary in Burlington.
The Burlington dispensary opened in June in an unmarked office on Burlington's Waterfront. Lynn grew up in Newfane and said he was looking forward to serving patients in southeastern Vermont.
"Right now we have people who are driving up to Champlain Valley, which is too far to travel for your medicine," he said. "We think there is a need to make it easier for people to have access to their medicine."
Lynn said he has a lease with a property owner in Brattleboro and he is going to seek a zoning permit from the Development Review Board.
"We are looking forward to coming down to meet with members of the community and hear about the concerns they have," he said. "We want people to feel comfortable with this and let them know we are looking forward to working with them."
He hopes to open within three to four months.
For now, he said, the marijuana will be grown in a facility near Burlington.
He told the Burlington Free Press in August that he had about 175 clients.
Department of Public Safety Marijuana Program Administrator Lindsey Wells said the Brattleboro dispensary will open once it has met all state security and operational requirements along with any local zoning regulations. She said the state will be in close contact with Southern Vermont Wellness during the build out process and will have final say over issuing an operating certificate.
Only registered patients and their caregivers will be allowed to enter the Brattleboro dispensary. Dispensaries are permitted to sell a registered patient two ounces of medical marijuana per month.
Once the facility is open additional information will be sent to registered patients and caregivers. There are 106 registered patients in Windham County, which is the second highest number in the state after Chittenden County, according to the Vermont Department of Public Safety.
Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham, said three organizations applied for a permit to operate a dispensary in Brattleboro.
Applicants had to pay a non-refundable $2,500 fee, and the successful applicant must pay a $20,000 registration fee to open, and then a $30,000 annual renewal fee after the first year.
Along with the Burlington dispensary, dispensaries have also opened in Montpelier and Brandon.
State law allowed for four dispensaries.
Rep. Mike Mrowicki, D-Putney, was a member of the House Human Services Committee, which took testimony on whether to allow medical marijuana in Vermont. He said it is good news that there will be a dispensary in Brattleboro.
"We took testimony from a Gulf War veteran with a bullet in his back," said Mrowicki. "He said medical marijuana was the one thing that gave him relief from pain."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com; or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer