AMHERST N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s been weeks since several Western New York business owners have been granted approval to open adult use cannabis dispensaries. One of those business owners says he’s having a hard time finding a place to open his shop.
Aaron Van Camp received his CAURD license at the beginning of the month. He was hopeful he’d open a cannabis dispensary by 4/20, but quickly learned it wasn’t going to be that easy.
“Tremendously harder than I thought. We’ve had different troubles dealing with some municipalities and developers not being welcoming of our business,” Van Camp told News 4.
He had his eyes on the Elmwood Village, but had trouble finding a space that would offer customers enough parking.
“We do want parking, we want it to be secure. We’re looking for somewhere that’s going to be very safe,” he said.
He reached out to municipalities that opted into allowing cannabis dispensaries in their community. He says some places were more responsive than others, and now he’s focused on opening a dispensary in either the town of Amherst or the town of Tonawanda.
“After meeting with people initially, I realized it wasn’t going to be as speedy of a process,” he said. “I’m bummed but over the last few days we’ve had a lot of good news from Tonawanda from Amherst from developers that were very interested in us.”
“We know we’re a place that is likely to see some customers, we’re a college town as well, what we want to do however is make sure we’re not locating this in a dense neighborhood area, that we’re not locating them near churches and playgrounds,” said Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa.
Cannabis dispensaries across the state have to to be at least one-thousand feet from any school and five-hundred feet from a house of worship.
“We’re ultimately looking to be helpful on the front end for any business that wants to come in frankly if you’re looking to locate a restaurant, or retailer,” Kulpa said. “Amherst is open for business and here to help.”
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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.