Vermont marijuana: Burlington shop and steady stream of customers celebrate legalization

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Brandon Allen stood alongside Pine Street Sunday morning dressed as a marijuana leaf, waving customers into Green State Gardener, a shop that sells growing supplies.

“Cannabis got legalized today, we’re a grow shop” Allen said. “We’re here inviting anybody who wants to start.”

Recreational use of marijuana became legal in Vermont on Sunday. While the sale of pot is still illegal, adults 21 or over may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, as well as two mature plants and four immature plants.

“We definitely have seen a ramp up in interest and very excited after today to introduce this hobby, this therapeutic and recreational hobby to a whole host of new people,” said Kelsy Raap, general manager of Green State Gardener.

And the steady stream of customers coming through the doors of Green State Gardener Sunday morning said that plenty of people were interested in growing their own.

“I’ve already started,” said Lance McGrath of Williston, adding after a slight pause, “today.”

I’m looking for tips, I’m a first time grower,” he said as he wandered around the store. “I’m just learning.”

Jamie Pudims of Winooski called the move to legalize “awesome,” adding, “It was long overdue.”

Pudims, who was walking around the store with an armful of growing supplies, said she saw a regulated retail market as the next step.

“Once people become more comfortable with it (marijuana), it’ll come quick,” she said.

Anna-Kate Dulude of Burlington was in the shop getting advice and picking up some freebies.

Dulude said she was a medical marijuana user and the new law made thing simpler for her.

“I’m planning on growing my own for my pain,” she said.

Raap said before recreational use was legalized, medical marijuana users made up the bulk of the store’s clients. Now, she said, “With legalization, our customer base just expanded exponentially.”

By: Aki Soga, Burlington Free Press

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