SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – There are currently no legal weed dispensaries in Central New York, but one Syracuse based group is trying to help change this. The Cannabis Association of New York is assisting marijuana entrepreneurs bring the cannabis business to Syracuse on Dec. 8.
“I wouldn’t be where I am right now without CANY, the association that we’re connected with, they have enabled a lot of education and networking sessions,” said Christine Agrippino, a registered dietitian and CANY associate who is looking to open her own business. “They have a lot of people who are doing great things for the industry.
CANY hosts numerous events to discuss current legislation, issues and networking. Jim Charon, the CNY Chair for CANY, encourages entrepreneurs to join the association for the benefit of each other and the community.
“[What’s important is] Building their relationships, coming to meetings like this, and networking with other businesses,” said Charon, who is also the owner of Syracuse Hemporium. “Because if you don’t network and you don’t make your connections, who are going to be doing business with?”
Although New York state has legalized cannabis, the licensing process has become slower than preferred.
“It’s been problematic and just trying to preemptively prepare for things, you know,” said Mike Golden, the owner of The Higher Calling and a CANY member. “You get a lot of pushback from landlords who already are maybe apprehensive or, you know, municipalities that may be apprehensive about cannabis.”
Businesses are suffering financially because of the slow implementation, regulation and confusion with the new laws. Some businesses started to pay rent for their establishments or purchase merchandise because they did not predict this slow of a turnaround period for licensing.
“There’s a lot of discomfort among people who are seeking out licenses and don’t know where to start,” said Agrippino. “So it’s really important to have a strong sense if you don’t have people that are going through it with you. You’re going to go through it alone, I think you’re going to face a lot of challenges, so connect with people who know the industry and want the best for the industry.”
The state has not provided an update on when applicants in Syracuse will be granted their marijuana business licenses.