Local Business Owner Opened Dispensary, Despite Struggle Getting Cannabis License Cannabis Dispensary Opens Despite License Struggles

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Jonathan Maxim, a former special education teacher in Syracuse, opened a dispensary making it the first official Black-owned cannabis dispensary in Central New York. 

Loud Pack Exotics is located in a building that was previously an animal shelter. 

He received his cannabis license from the New York State Office of Cannabis Management in late March.  

Maxim said getting the license was a long process but worth the wait. 

“It’s a weight lifted off of your shoulders, you know, the financial burden, you know, because now I’m making money,” he said. “Now I’m coming out of the red, and now I’m becoming profitable because just losing money every single month, it’s just horrible.” 

Loud Pack Exotics partners with vendors to offer gummies, flower, vapes, and drinks. 

Ann Page, a customer at the dispensary, has trouble going to sleep. 

“I’m having trouble sleeping or falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night and so I’m looking for something to help with that to kind of take the edge off,” she said. 

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management is just one office of workers covering all of New York State which slows down the process of getting a license.

Maxim said, “We’re not allowed to get California products, all of our products have to be New York grown from seed, from the little seed all the way to the sale, it has to come from a New York farmer or a New York processing facility.”

Maxim said there is a difference between cannabis grown inside and outside. 

“Indoor flower is grown under artificial lights and it produces a bigger high, a higher THC content,” he said. “Compared to Mother Earth, you’re getting just regular sunlight, and things grown outdoors don’t produce as much THC content as the indoor strains do.” 

While Loud Pack Exotics isn’t the only dispensary in Syracuse, Maxim said his location sets his dispensary apart from others in Syracuse. 

“We have Fayetteville who opted out of ever having a dispensary. Camillus wants nothing to do with it as well. Our delivery opens next week, so we’ll be able to deliver to all the people in this area,” he said. 

The vendors give employees, also known as bud tenders, training and allow them to try the products that will be sold at the dispensary. 

Maxim said, “They’ve come in and their products are just flying off the shelves because the bud tenders have tried their products, they know what their products are, and they love them.” 

Beak N Skiff isn’t just your typical apple and hard cider farm. As of 2021, it’s dipped into the cannabis industry as well. 

Beak N Skiff partners with dispensaries like Loud Pack Exotics to sell its cannabis products for its brand, Ayrloom.

Ayrloom offers gummies, tinctures, vapes, topicals and is best known for their beverages. Its drinks are the number one cannabis beverages in New York State. 

Max Buckner, regional sales manager, said Ayrloom had access to the cannabis industry because it was one of the many businesses to receive the first round of licenses in New York State. 

“The first cannabis adult use licenses in New York were awarded on the cultivation and processing side to businesses that already had a history in growing and processing hemp and CBD products for New York State,” he said. 

Despite cannabis becoming legal in New York State in 2021, Ayrloom didn’t launch until dispensaries began opening in 2023. 

Buckner said, “We’ve been really fortunate that our brand has done very well in New York and we’re in most of the dispensaries in New York State and have just kind of been able to continue growing as the market grows.” 

As the cannabis market in New York State flourishes, business owners throughout the state remain on standby, anticipating the moment when their licenses get approved.

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