BRATTLEBORO -- Vermont's fourth marijuana dispensary will open on Putney Road following the Development Review Board's decision Monday to issue a permit for the business.
The DRB voted 6-0-1 to give Shayne Lynn a permit to operate the dispensary, which will be able to legally sell marijuana to patients on the state's Medical Marijuana Registry.
Lynn will open his business, Southern Vermont Wellness, at 1222 Putney Road, in the building in front of the former Steak Out. Lynn also operates the Champlain Valley Dispensary in Burlington, which has been open for six months.
"Things are going to start moving forward now," Lynn said after Monday night's vote. "We are looking forward to being part of the community."
The Vermont Legislature passed a law in 2011 that allowed medical marijuana to be distributed from state-approved dispensaries. The legislation allows for four dispensaries in the state and along with Burlington there are dispensaries in Montpelier and Brandon.
There are about 680 patients on the state registry and Lynn said he has been serving about 250 patients at the Burlington dispensary. He expects about 100 patients to use the Putney Road dispensary.
The Brattleboro dispensary will be open five days a week and will have two full-time employees and two part-time employees, Lynn said. He received the state license to sell marijuana in Brattleboro in October. He said he hopes to open in the winter some time.
"I did not know what to expect," Lynn said about going before the DRB. "We wanted to come here to see if people had concerns and we wanted to be here to answer questions. It was a unanimous vote. I'm pleased it went so smoothly."
If Lynn was going to open a commercial pharmacy he could have asked the zoning administrator for a permit, but Zoning Administrator Brian Bannon said he determined that the dispensary needed a Use Not Provided For permit because the dispensary will not be open to the public and will require specialized security systems.
The dispensary will only be open by appointment and only patients with a medical marijuana card will be allowed inside. Lynn said the marijuana will all be grown at his facility in northern Vermont and driven down to Brattleboro. The Vermont State Police will be aware of all of the transportation of the medical marijuana, Lynn said, and the Brattleboro location will have a 24-hour surveillance and security system.
"We want to fit right in and then be forgotten about," Lynn said.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com; or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.