December 17, 2017

Pot dispensary renews play for Williston location

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

An existing medical marijuana dispensary in Vermont has applied to state regulators to open a location in Williston.

An update passed this year to Vermont’s medical marijuana law allows the four existing medical marijuana dispensaries to each open one satellite location.

According to Williston Planning and Zoning Director Ken Belliveau, a representative from the Grassroots Vermont dispensary in Brandon inquired in August about locating its satellite in Williston. Belliveau had a meeting scheduled with a representative from the dispensary, but it was later canceled, he said. He expects Grassroots Vermont will be back in touch.

The Champlain Valley Dispensary in Burlington also plans to open a second Chittenden County location, Executive Director Shayne Lynn said Tuesday; it has been looking at South Burlington, but has not settled on a specific spot.

The Vermont Marijuana Registry in July identified Williston, South Burlington, Hartford and Middlebury as the four proposed satellite locations. Marijuana Program Administrator Lindsey Wells said Tuesday that a decision from the Vermont Department of Public Safety on the applications is expected by the end of next week.

This is the second time Grassroots Vermont has applied for a Williston location.

The dispensary received approval from the Williston Development Review Board in 2015 to move its dispensary from Brandon to a location on Engineer’s Drive off Route 2. The move was nixed when the Department of Public Safety denied the application with an eye toward keeping the state’s four dispensaries geographically dispersed.

Belliveau said he expects Grassroots Vermont to focus on a different location than it did in 2015. Under marijuana dispensary regulations passed in 2014, dispensaries are only allowed in Williston’s industrial zoning district west, which is located on the northwestern edge of town near the South Burlington border.

Local regulations also say dispensaries must be at least 2,000 feet from a school and restrict signs to text only — no graphics.

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