Medical marijuana facility quickly approved

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BENNINGTON — Few questions were raised Tuesday about the county's first medical marijuana dispensary, before it was quickly approved by the Development Review Board.

No members of the public attended the meeting, which was followed by a DRB deliberative session and vote of only a few minutes duration.

PhytoScience Institute, LLC, received a change of use permit for a medical cannabis dispensary in the former Vermont Registry of Motor Vehicles space in the small commercial center at 120 Depot St. The vacant space will undergo renovations with the goal of opening by March 1, said Realtor Paul Carroccio, of TPW Real Estate, who represented PhytoScience at the meeting.

Once the dispensary is ready to open, a final state inspection will be required before the sales license is issued.

Carroccio said the facility will be operated much like a medical office, seeing an estimated five to eight registered patients per day by appointment, with each staying about 10 to 15 minutes.

In addition, there will be an 800-square-foot retail space in the front, Carroccio said, where creams, gels and other non-regulated hemp-related products will be sold.

The rear of the space will be a secured area where patients with a medical marijuana card through the Vermont Department of Health will be served. Cards are issued for patients with certain conditions or illnesses, such as cancer or arthritis.

The marijuana will be cultivated at a cultivation and dispensary site PhytoScience maintains in Montpelier, Carroccio said.

PhytoScience Institute also has a new state license for another dispensary and is expected to open one in St. Albans after the Bennington site is operating.

The group received conditional approval for the state's fifth medical marijuana program license. Bennington is considered one of the areas underserved through the state marijuana program, which now allows facilities in Montpelier, Brattleboro, Brandon and Burlington.

PhytoScience also operates a laboratory in Waterbury that researches and develops high-quality medical marijuana and performs quality testing.

Information about PhytoScience Institute is available at www.phytoscienceinstitute.com.

Information about the Vermont medical marijuana program can be viewed at http://medicalmarijuana.vermont.gov.

Jim Therrien writes for New England Newspapers in Southern Vermont and VTDigger.org. Email: jtherrien@benningtonbanner.com. @BB_therrien on Twitter.


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