NIAGARA COUNTY (WIVB) — The cannabis industry in Western New York is budding. Several local business owners now hold licenses to sell adult-use recreational cannabis.

The New York State cannabis control board awarded several people in WNY their license to open adult-use cannabis dispensaries.

In Niagara County, at Singer Farm Naturals, this makes it easier for owner Tom Szulist to take the marijuana plants he grows on the farm, to a dispensary where it can be sold for recreational use.

“We’re excited because it means we’ll have a market for the beautiful crop that we grew,” he said. “We’re going to have it manufactured, into products people can ingest and that way people can have the full experience of the crop. It’ll be fresh because we extracted it after harvest and next year we’ll look at the flower market but right now we’re looking at the edible market.”

Bison Botanics in Kenmore is one the major brands for cannabis in the area. Now that people are receiving their license to open dispensaries, the company is already planning on how it will work with those businesses to sell its products.

Bison Botanics currently sells CBD products at their store front on Military Road. The company will continue to sell CBD products, but is starting to scale back production as it gets ready to manufacture THC products.

Three CAURD licenses were granted so far in WNY. 18 additional licenses for dispensaries are expected to be granted in May of this year.

Business owners who received their CAURD license to open a cannabis dispensary are now in the process of finding locations for their stores. It could take anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months for a dispensary to open its doors in WNY.

“We’re breaking new ground here, because there’s never been licensing before in the state so they’re trying to figure it out as well,” Szulist said. “Now New York state is having this whole industry, which is going to be loaded with all people, entrepreneurs coming in and figuring out how to be a part of this, whether it be someone who wants to do a dispensary, or whether they want to cultivate.”

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.