A group interested in bringing a cannabis dispensary to Fredonia showed up…sort of.
Two representatives of the three local entrepreneurs discussed the plan, which is in its very early stages, at a meeting of the Cannabis Advisory Committee of the Fredonia Board of Directors this week. Committee chairman Jon Espersen insisted, both just before their presentation and privately before the meeting began, that the OBSERVER not use their names. The man and woman who spoke never named the three entrepreneurs they represented.
Espersen told them that according to state law, they will have to notify the village clerk that they are applying for a dispensary license within 30 days of making that application.
“Then we need to know what to do with that information,” he said — a reference to the fact that much is still unclear, more than a year after the state legalized cannabis, about the legality and logistics of starting licensed sales.
The two representatives said they are currently volunteer advisers to family members who want to carry out the dispensary project, but would stay away once it is up and running. The family is involved with a real estate and property rehabilitation company that owns a number of buildings in Fredonia.
The business plan will be developed over the next six to eight weeks. The group intends to use a vacant building in the village for its dispensary, on a site that their representatives did not disclose on Tuesday.
Espersen, who said he met with the contractors, noted, “As far as village approval goes, it’s really up to the state. The village can have its say.
Committee members also noted that priority in licensing currently goes to economically or socially disadvantaged groups, as well as those convicted of cannabis under former state laws.
“The rules are not immutable” Espersen said. “I would consider it risky right now to invest a lot of money in something that might not happen.”
The dispensary group wants a multi-use license, for a place of cultivation as well as for the dispensary. The cultivation site and the dispensary would be in separate locations.
Although the exact location proposed for the dispensary has been secret, it appears to be in or near downtown Fredonia. “The last thing I think we want to do is move all these (cannabis) businesses to Route 60,” Espersen said.
The group is already renovating buildings, in anticipation of an upcoming license.
“You are our guinea pig” Committee member Greg Krauza said, adding: “You have to invest a ton of time in ambiguity at this point.”
Espersen asked the band’s representatives to keep him updated on the progress of their plans, and they agreed.