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State Cannabis Board approves 4 dispensary licenses in WNY

By Grant Ashley,


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The New York State Cannabis Control Board awarded four provisional dispensary licenses to individuals and organizations in Western New York on Monday, according to a press release.

Those four licenses, which were among 99 approved statewide, are the first to be allocated to Western New York.

According to an Office of Cannabis Management spokesperson, three organizations and one individual got the licenses in Western New York, which includes the Buffalo and Rochester areas. They recipients are:

  • Aaron Van Camp, a “justice-involved applicant” who owned and operated BC Can & Bottle Return in Buffalo’s Riverside neighborhood for four years
  • AMSM, an LLC owned by Gina Miller and Glen Miller. Gina Miller, a “justice-involved applicant” and Orleans County resident, owned and operated A & S Miller, Inc. a retail store selling wine and spirits, for nine years.
  • Flower City Shop, an LLC owned by Jamie Donato-Rivera and Phetnakhone Duangtavilay. Donato-River, a “justice-involved applicant,” owned and operated Be Xquisite, a retail clothing store in Rochester, New York, for two years.
  • Premier Earth, a corporation owned by Joseph Wojciechowski. Wojciechowski, a “justice-involved applicant,” owned and operated River Bend Fabrication, a commercial truck up-fitting business in Buffalo for seven years.

The licenses are provisional, meaning license-holders will have to submit a secondary supplemental application and notify the municipality they’ll be operating in, according to a resolution passed by the board.

Legal adult-use cannabis poses challenges to employers

Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses allow business owners to legally open adult-use recreational marijuana dispensaries. In order to be eligible, individual applicants must have owned a “profitable business” and been convicted of a marijuana offense or be the family member of someone who has. Nonprofit organizations are eligible if they, among other requirements, have a “history of serving current or formerly incarcerated individuals.”

“The approval of these licenses will help expedite building a robust and diverse supply chain while also ensuring that individuals that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition have meaningful opportunities to participate in the industry,” Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management, said in a statement.

Alongside Western New York, Central New York, the Mid-Hudson region and Brooklyn all got their first provisional licenses. The State Cannabis Board couldn’t issue licenses in all four of those regions prior to the modification of a court injunction last week.

The board has granted at least one CAURD provisional license in every region except the Finger Lakes. An injunction is blocking the issuance of any injunctions there.

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