Buffalo Common Council notes boom in cannabis license applications

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Twenty businesses or individuals have notified the city of Buffalo that they want to set up a marijuana retail dispensary in the city.

The Buffalo Common Council discussed the applications at a meeting Tuesday, where lawmakers said they’ve never seen that many notifications come all at once.

So far there is only one licensed cannabis dispensary in Buffalo, one in Depew and one in Tonawanda. The process for receiving licensing has been slowed down due to a lawsuit and an injunction on conditional marijuana dispensaries.

Proposed cannabis growers showcase aims to become first in Buffalo

Adult-use licensing applications opened to the general public on Oct. 4. On Tuesday, New York’s Cannabis Control Board extended the application window until Dec. 18. The window was previously set to close Dec. 4.

“Since the application window is open for another 60 days I would anticipate seeing much more people apply, so I would expect the city to see a lot more notices that people would like to open a dispensary here,” Councilmember Joel Feroleto said.

According to state law, applicants must notify their local municipality before applying for an adult-use retail dispensary in New York. Industry experts and owners of local dispensaries say that they want to see more dispensaries open up to help the market.

As the slow rollout of legal dispensaries has drawn out and caused confusion and frustration for growers, cannabis growers showcases are being used across the state to help growers offload their supply. A local organization requested approval to host a showcase in Buffalo this November.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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