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New York approves first 15 cannabis processor licenses

Three Western New York processors are located in the Buffalo area and Batavia.
Credit: WGRZ

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Monday, the Cannabis Control Board approved licenses for 15 cannabis processors in New York State. Of those 15, three are in the Western New York area.

These processors will turn cannabis being grown by New York farmers into adult-use cannabis through the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which positions people who themselves or a family member has had a prior cannabis-related criminal offenses.

The three area processors include Chocolate Delivery Systems, Inc., also known as Create Goodness in Buffalo; Northeast Botanical Distributions LLC, known as Bison Botanics in Kenmore; and Empire Hemp Co LLC in Batavia.

“Today’s Board Meeting brings us one step closer to launching New York’s legal cannabis marketplace. Processors aren’t just an important part of the cannabis supply chain, they are creators, who take a raw plant and transform into tested, consistent, high-quality products that consumers can trust,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. 

“When we open New York’s first stores, owned and operated by New Yorkers harmed by the misguided criminalization of cannabis, the shelves will be lined with infused edibles, topical creams and concentrated oils. None of those products would be possible without these first processors launching New York’s cannabis industry.”

Adult-use cannabis processors will have to participate in a mentorship program that will help guide them through the industry and opportunities for social equality applicants to participate in entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability programs, according to the Cannabis Control Board.

“New York is launching our cannabis industry the right way, and our cannabis processors are an integral part of that,” said Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander. 

“These processors aren’t just expanding their own businesses, they are committed to also mentoring the next generation of cannabis processors. They’ll be teaching vital manufacturing skills to those with a passion for cannabis who will take our state’s industry to the next level. New York’s entire cannabis ecosystem will create opportunities for those who have been shut out of jobs and industry, and will bring those skills to communities across the state.”

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