BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – As the cannabis industry prepares to ground in New York state, Buffalo city leaders are encouraging folks to get involved sooner rather than later.

“People who are interested in being in the business and having a license should start to prepare themselves,” said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “You need to get prepared because when you apply for a license, with any level of state government you’re going to have to have all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted.”

Peoples-Stokes and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown are offering to help those looking to venture into the adult-use cannabis industry. The Assembly Majority Leader was one of the lawmakers pushing for recreational marijuana to become legal in New York state, and on April 2nd it was.

“This will allow us an opportunity to create generational wealth and and an opportunity to reinvest in communities that so desperately need it,” she said during a forum Friday night.

“We already know that with medical marijuana there are individuals who have become phenomenally rich,” Mayor Brown said. “That will be the case with recreational marijuana.”

Kaelan Castetter with the Castetter Cannabis Group, helps small businesses across the state strategies and prepare their business to involved in the cannabis industry. He tells News 4 that he also agrees with lawmakers that if someone wants to be a part of this soon-to-be growing industry, they should start preparing.

“So you want to develop a relationship with the community you want to really start the planning process now,” he said. “You know, don’t get yourself in any leases necessarily or start spending too much money because we still have a long time to go before we actually have licenses but the planning process needs to start today.”

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.