BUFFALO, N.Y. — Much has been said about that proposed cannabis campus on Buffalo's waterfront.
In order for that plant to be built, the state first has to legalize recreational marijuana.
But lawmakers in Albany and even Governor Cuomo say legislation may not get done in this year's budget.
Now we're hearing from the company behind the project, which says a delay into next year may not be the worst option.
The cannabis campus off Tifft Street on Buffalo's waterfront would have multiple grow operations, space for marijuana production, research and distribution, employing between 500 and 1,000 people.
But way before any of this can happen, the state has to first legalize recreational marijuana.
This is what Governor Cuomo said highlighting his First 100 Days.
"Let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all," he said.
But, just a couple weeks ago the Governor's office signaled marijuana may not be in the budget.
"The rate of progress does not suggest it's going to happen," he said.
On Monday, Flora California Prime, the company behind the cannabis campus, went before Buffalo Planning Board seeking to get the land where the project would be rezoned for construction.
This was approved and will head to Buffalo Common Council.
Flora is not frustrated by the pace in Albany on marijuana legislation.
"I think this is how government works. How government passes new laws there needs to be a lot of conversation, dialogue, debate around it, and that's the process in getting any new legislation passed. I don't think we're seeing anything different," said Ryan Herrell, the senior vice president for Flora.
Is there hope from Flora's perspective that this is stand alone legislation that is accomplished in the legislative session?
"Yes, in the next couple of months, I think they will be successful coming together and coming up with language in that legislation that everyone can agree upon," Herrell said.
The legislative session ends in June, but there's always the chance of a special session.
Would there be any disappointment if recreational marijuana wasn't done this year?
"I think that would extend certain timelines, but we have timelines that we need to get approval of this project, so I don't think it detracts us from what we're setting out to do here," Herrell said. "I think it goes without saying the sooner the better, but this is a long-term project, a long-term growth for Western New York for the community of Buffalo."
Eventually Flora needs to go back to the planning board to get the entire project approved.
The company is also holding public hearings. According to its Facebook page the next one is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Southside Elementary.
Flora says that it would like to start construction on the waterfront by the end of this year.
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