This article by Chris Mays originally appeared May 11 in the Brattleboro Reformer.
WEST DOVER — Two local inn owners are getting a head start on making a green plant that will soon be legal in Vermont to generate green bills for them and others in the community.
“We want to get ahead of it in southern Vermont because they already started doing cannabis-based tourism in northern Vermont,” said Jim Desrochers, owner of the Lodge at Mount Snow.
During the summer, Desrochers told the Reformer, there are no “bells and whistles” in Dover — no water parks or alpine slides. The next logical conclusion, he said, is “organic tourism.”
Desrochers and Sandy MacDougall, owner of Layla’s Riverside Lodge, are planning The Original Green Mountain Cannabis and Music Festival for July 1. That is the day in Vermont where those 21 and older can legally consume recreational marijuana, possess up to one ounce and/or as many as two mature plants.
“This is something the town can get behind and make a lot of money,” MacDougall said in hopes of bringing about 1,500 people to his property on Route 100 for the festival. “Our biggest thing is to get people up here. We are honestly crippled in the summer.”
Desrochers and MacDougall are asking the town for a $14,000 grant through 1 percent local option tax revenue, which is specifically earmarked for economic development programming. After presenting their proposal last week, they will be bringing more information to the Select Board on Tuesday. They say the figure makes up about 40 percent of the festival’s budget.
The request comes at a time when the Select Board is considering whether to adopt an ordinance to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries or recreational marijuana retailers in town. A survey will gauge public input at the town offices. Police Chief Randy Johnson had suggested the ordinance years before two Wilmington residents brought a proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary to the board in February.
Read full story at the Brattleboro Reformer.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)