Cannabis just became greener in Vermont. July 1, 2018, was met with celebration as Governor Phil Scott signed the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state. The law allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, including two mature and four immature plants. It may have taken time for the the Green Mountain State, but this is nevertheless a triumph for those in the industry.
Shayne Lynn founded one of the best-known dispensaries in Vermont which is the Champlain Valley Dispensary/South Vermont Wellness (CVD/SVW). It is a seed-to-shelf medical cannabis facility that is dedicated to uniting the state’s artisanal approach with the science of plant-based medications. Lynn, a native Vermonter, also initiated the drafting of Vermont’s original regulations for medical cannabis. Ceres Natural Remedies is the newest and a very successful medical cannabis dispensary currently under Lynn’s leadership, with locations in Burlington, Middlebury, and Brattleboro.
Shayne recalls the beginnings of the dispensary. “Ceres Natural Remedies began as The CBD Shop, which was located next to our first dispensary in Burlington, Vermont. Originally created to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for the public to learn about the medical cannabis program, we quickly recognized the overwhelming interest in the benefits of CBD-based products. As sales quickly climbed, we changed the store’s name to Ceres Natural Remedies (in honor of the Roman goddess of agriculture) and moved our flagship store to a central location in downtown Burlington. The location is state-of-the-art, with a dedicated space for educational events and beautiful counters made of local stone. Ceres has also expanded to include its own lab/extraction facilities, which allow us to offer processing services to private Vermont hemp growers.”
Ceres Natural Remedies offers a wide range of CBD products suited to every patient’s needs. The option to have THC content is also accommodated. In their commitment to healing and wellness, each product is hand-crafted and formulated with CBD extracted from native Vermont cannabis. Ceres works with other companion botanicals for the desired effect. These include soothing salves and aromatic roll-ons as well as infused edibles like ginger molasses, sea salt caramels and vegan gummies, all organically created. Also available are Charlotte’s Web products from the Stanley Brothers. Other products include whole-plant Green Mountain CBD oil and capsules and Mary’s Nutritional’s products. Discounts are available for medical patients. Shayne emphasizes the commitment of Ceres Natural Remedies to customer satisfaction.
“We work very hard to ensure our patients select products that will give them the most meaningful symptom relief. Our philosophy is built on three critical ideals: working with reputable brands, analyzing market demands and conducting regular patient surveys. The brands we work with, such as Mary’s and Charlotte’s Web, have been pioneers in the industry and have built strong reputations for high-quality, effective hemp products that have saved lives… Our surveys and focus groups have also provided an invaluable source of guidance in developing effective products.”
Flowers, clones for home cultivation, concentrates (shatter and distillates), strain-specific terpenes, capsules, tinctures, topicals, transdermal patches and gel pens are available in the shops. With the surge of modern technology, Ceres Natural Remedies have also begun to make their own vape cartridges and batteries. For those who would love to have some herb in their snacks, they have a selection of edibles that are perfect for every situation, including homemade brownies, cheese nibs and cookies. They also offer a unique line of sweets royally named Queen City Confections. A variety of infused products include olive oil, coconut oil, cannabutter, ghee and a line of beverages called Mad Hatter Coffee and Tea.
Shayne explains his vision. “We work hard to ensure that all of our products are of the highest quality, and our locations are staffed with friendly individuals who are knowledgeable about cannabis and alternative medicine. We’ve found that this makes a huge difference to customers and prospective patients, who may have limited or no prior experience with cannabis. Our patients and customers consistently tell us that our consultative approach and expert knowledge set us apart from the competition.
Legal conditions in the cannabis industry can be shaky. The company has maintained constant cooperation with state officials and is in compliance with state regulations. This is critical not only for success of the company but also for its smooth operation. Legal mishaps can spell disaster for those who prioritize profit over compliance.
Among the biggest challenges in maintaining a cannabis company is its relationship with financial institutions. Difficulties may arise due to the current federal restrictions. Banks still tend to steer clear of anything associated with cannabis. Ceres Natural Remedies is no stranger to this problem. However, with the triumph of legalization at the state level, the local community itself has become more open and supportive.
“We are excited to expand the line of Ceres Natural Remedies products and begin wholesaling to other hemp and cannabis businesses. Our focus will be on coexisting with nationally proven brands, as reflected in our current partnerships with Organa Brands, Mary’s Nutritionals and CBDMEDIC. Our products are unique because of our commitment to using high-quality, locally produced ingredients including hemp in our product line. When we combine these ingredients with traditional healing botanicals and terpenes, we are harnessing the synergy of plant-based medicines to improve the efficacy of CBD products and enhance the well-being of our customers and medical patients,” Shayne proudly said.