The Vermont Cannabis Control Board issued seven more adult-use cannabis business licenses May 31 as the state prepares to launch the first retail sales in October.

The latest round of licenses went to social equity or economic empowerment applicants, according to a VT Digger report.

The new licensees are Arcadia Cannabis Company, an indoor grower in Essex; Snowbird Botanicals, a small indoor and outdoor grower in Barnet; Epona Farms, an indoor grower in Salisbury; Family Tree, an indoor and outdoor grower in Sheldon; Great Brook Homestead, a small outdoor grower in Middlesex; Valley Organics, a small indoor grower in Jeffersonville; and DP Holdings/VT Cannabis Organics, a small indoor and outdoor grower in Danville.

To date, the Cannabis Control Board has received 208 applications, VT Digger reported, and it is required to consider applications from social equity or economic empowerment first. Once the board makes a decision on those applicants, it can consider the next group, which consists of applicants seeking licenses to grow cannabis outdoors this summer, according to the news outlet.

“We hear the urgency on outdoors,” Pepper told VT Digger. He added that the board’s executive director, Brynn Hare, is interviewing potential staff members to process the licenses, and that the board will likely review the next round of applications next week.

Vermont legalized medical cannabis in 2004, and Gov. Phil Scott signed an adult-use legalization bill into law in 2018 that eliminated criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and allows residents to grow up to two mature and four immature plants at home for personal use.

In 2020, Scott allowed legislation to become law without his signature to establish rules and regulations to govern the commercial production and retail sale of adult-use cannabis in the state.

Regulators initially missed a May 1 deadline to begin issuing licenses to entrepreneurs hoping to participate in Vermont’s forthcoming adult-use cannabis market, but then issued its first cultivation license May 16 to Rutland Craft Cannabis, an indoor grower in Brandon.

The state then issued three more cultivation licenses late last month.