A Message From Bridget: December 2021
Image: Our first dispensary, 1 Steel St, when it first opened in 2013
Greetings from CeresMED,
We are growing again!
Nine years ago this month, we started construction on our first production facility in South Burlington for Champlain Valley Dispensary. We started small – really small. Within just over 5000sq ft, we created space for all stages of cultivation, harvest, drying, curing, packaging, inventory, an infusion kitchen (what I affectionately refer to as the “hallway version”) and eventually, an analytical lab. We also had office space here, barely enough to accommodate our non-profit board meetings. We had two cultivators on staff, including our president Shayne Lynn, and a handful of processors who helped with all of the rest. In addition, our board members would volunteer their time to help with the harvests. Our first cultivars were classics: Afghani #1, California Orange and Cinderella 99.
I traveled up from The Berkshires in Massachusetts two days a week to develop the infused product menu with a toaster oven, crockpot and tincture press as my trusted pieces of equipment. I was still working a full-time job managing a busy restaurant in the town of Lenox. We eventually launched with two versions (indica and sativa) of the Capa cookie, our gluten-free & dairy-free dark chocolate brownie, our 1:1 Salve and a variety of tinctures and glycerites.
We opened six months later, in late June of 2013, to serve our first 40 registered patients. We operated out of a single room in the Wing Building at 1 Steele Street in Burlington. By state law, we were only allowed to schedule one patient at a time. Our “waiting room” consisted of two chairs in the hallway. Not ideal, but it was the best we could do considering our resources, the restrictive policies of the Vermont Marijuana Registry, and the cultural climate at the time; people were conservative on cannabis at best and mostly afraid. Cannabis was a much bigger risk back then, and landlords willing to host a medical cannabis dispensary were practically non-existent. None of this would have been possible without the support of our landlord, Melinda Moulton. We consider her a cannabis pioneer, and we tip our hat to her as she prepares to depart from her 38-year career at Main Street Landing. She will be missed.
Fast forward to today and our upcoming ground-breaking this month on a new production facility in the Catamount Industrial Park in Milton. This 28,000 sq ft facility will house all stages of cultivation, harvest, drying and curing. Our current facility in the Park will remain our administrative headquarters and our manufacturing hub with room to expand these operations to meet the needs of the upcoming adult use market and to provide more variety to our registered patients.
A big THANK YOU! is in order for the town of Milton and to Frank Cioffi and the team at the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC) for supporting our growth in the Catamount Industrial Park. As construction ensues, we will share details of the buildout and the partners we are working with to make it all happen. We are thrilled with the team of Vermont companies that have come together to make this project possible.
In the meantime, here are some important high-level features about this new facility from our Director of Cultivation, Seth Gillim:
- Significant reduction in heating/cooling burdens by utilizing purpose-built, highest efficiency water-cooled HVAC units. These units are typically 30% more efficient than air-cooled units.
- Reduction of electrical and lighting loads by 35% by switching to high-efficiency LED lighting that achieves photo efficacies typical of traditional HPS lighting.
- Facility will be fully built to Vermont’s 2020 Commercial Building Energy Standards, among the most rigorous in the nation.
- Most importantly, this facility will allow us to expand our cultivation and processing team, growing livable-wage jobs with full benefits in a supportive environment right here in Vermont.
These features are representative of our commitment to the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity. We work to achieve success in these areas with the help of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR). We began our membership to VBSR two years ago and are excited to announce that in January, we will be renewing as Champion Members at the invitation of the VBSR Board of Directors. More to come on this in my January Message.
My Health & Wellness Picks for December:
Morning Meditation with Laughing River Yoga: I know. It was my first pick last month too. It is a terrific way to start the day and to build community resilience–my last reminder. Next month you are on your own. 😀
The Journal of Headache and Pain: An interesting article on a study analyzing cannabis cultivars used to treat migraines. Terpenes play a definitive role, particularly b-caryophyllene and b-myrcene. Reference our cultivar menu to learn which ones feature these major terpenes.
Healer webinar recording on the potential therapeutic benefits of CBG and CBGa: We tune into Dr. Sulak’s free cannabis educational series each month. This one was the best yet. Drs. Ethan Russo and Jahan Marcu were active participants in the Q & A. So much cannabis knowledge packed into two hours!
And finally, a fun and creative gift idea for the holidays. Treat yourself or a friend to this paint by number cannabis botanical.
Happy Holidays from everyone at CeresMED!
In Good Health,
CeresMED Director of Brand Experience