CeresMED, formerly Champlain Valley Dispensary, is uniting Vermont’s artisanal approach with the science of plant-based medicine to produce safe, compliant, high quality medical cannabis products.
With the passage of the Vermont Marijuana for Symptom Relief Act in June 2011, Champlain Valley Dispensary was awarded the first license in 2012 to open a dispensary in Burlington. A year later, we applied for and were awarded a second license to operate our sister organization, Southern Vermont Wellness, in Brattleboro.
In July of 2020, we announced our plans to bring the dispensaries and Ceres Natural Remedies families under one roof. The goddess Ceres (say it, see · reez) presides over the harvest and fertility of the earth. A statue of her stands atop the Vermont Statehouse as a testament to our state’s long history of environmental and agricultural stewardship. We thought the name fitting, and so became CeresMED.
The industry continues to face many hurdles, the largest being that cannabis remains illegal under federal statute. This limitation has become our strength. We’ve created an organization built on local support, the Vermont way. Startup capital was raised with friends and family. We’ve forged relationships with Vermont credit unions for our banking needs. Responding to a prohibition on medical insurance coverage for patients, we’ve developed a compassionate sliding-scale program.
CeresMED has embraced our challenges as opportunities to build a team of highly trained, professional staff members who guide and innovate throughout our operations. Our goal is to be a national model for best practices in our field.
CeresMED has had the privilege of serving thousands of Vermonters registered in the state’s medical cannabis program since opening in 2013. We feel this is just the beginning. We see the medicinal benefit of cannabis first hand every day. Our mission is to share our knowledge and continue to help grow the medical cannabis program in coincident with the development of retail sales for adults.
Our team is made up of compassionate and educated people who have specific training in trauma-informed care. We make a point to stay on the cutting edge of research within the medical cannabis world, and have established excellent working relationships with the medical community here in Vermont. We believe patients have the best outcomes when their healthcare provider is involved with their use of cannabis for symptom relief.
Our patient base is not only wide, it is varied. People who come to us are often suffering, and our role is to offer guidance, information, and care. We listen to patients, we do our best to answer all of their questions, and we assist them as they develop their own relationship with cannabis. Having the opportunity to engage with patients is a deeply enjoyable and rewarding aspect of this job.
It’s important to us that our whole community understand that the products we provide are helping Vermonters lead a more active life and have a better daily existence. Contrary to the stereotype of using cannabis to escape, patients see this as a way to function — to have the energy to be present with their families and not be overwhelmed by prescription painkillers or nausea from chemotherapy.
We seldom hear, “That didn’t do anything for me.” Instead, we constantly hear, “I’ve been able to gain back 10 pounds,” or “I’m weaning myself off pharmaceuticals and my doctor is really excited.” That’s why we do what we do.
Our mission is one of wellness and empathy. Through compassion, vitality, and direction our goal is to connect our customers with professional staff that serve the highest quality cannabis products; sharing in knowledge and understanding of plant-based remedies.
We are an organization dedicated to social justice. We support the Black Lives Matter movement and its quest for social, racial, and economic justice. We acknowledge that people of color are disproportionately affected by cannabis criminalization and it is our responsibility to aid in righting the injustices that have been done. We stand as allies in the global movement against systemic racism and denounce racism, injustice, and inequality in all forms. As an organization also committed to sustainability, we work to affect positive change within policy and procedure, ensuring environmentally and economically responsible practices are created and upheld.
We believe in the power of plants, plant-based medicine and herbal remedies for holistic health and well-being. We choose to partner with organizations that echo these principles and stand with us as pioneers in the cannabis community.
Our staff-led Social Justice Committee reviews all of our practices including monitoring our entire supply chain to ensure that the vendors we work with share our core values of sustainability, equity, and ethical responsibility. We are committed to identifying and building relationships with BIPOC, women-owned and other organizations that identify as marginalized communities, especially those who have been negatively impacted by cannabis criminalization.
Teamwork: We work as one team towards our mission
Flexibility and Agility: We are willing to be flexible and agile to meet the changing demands of our business
Compassion: We are caring and compassionate towards our customers and each other
Accountability: We hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions
Learning Focused: We share knowledge with our customers and with each other