The Phytoscience Institute in Waterbury won a license last week to become the state's fifth medical marijuana dispensary. Competition for the new dispensary license was fierce, with five applicants vying for the coveted registration certificate. But the CEO of the winning cannabis research firm says he doesn't expect to profit from the dispensaries themselves.
“The dispensaries will allow us to research and develop products that have proven therapeutic effects,” says Phytoscience CEO William Cats-Baril. “Those may then become important sources of revenue for us.”
Cats-Baril says the real business opportunity for those products will come outside Vermont, where he sees a growing market for the patented THC formulations that Phytoscience specializes in.
“There’s a tremendous amount of variation in quality, in content, in potency,” Cats-Baril says of the existing medical cannabis market. “And we felt there was a very important role for someone like Phytoscience Institute to play in ensuring quality and safety.”
According to Cats-Baril, the Institute has focused on developing THC-infused pills and other products for treatment of specific ailments during the last two years.
Now, the institute plans to bring its products to market at dispensaries in Bennington and St. Albans. Cats-Baril says those dispensaries can help Phytoscience develop patents and licenses that could one day have a broad market outside Vermont.
“For the first couple of years, it’s going to be investment, and it’s not going to be actually a profitable venture,” Cats-Baril says. “The model for us is to break even or make little bit of money on the dispensaries.”