47-Acre parcel at Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park where a Cannabis Campus will be developed if New York State passes legislation on legalizing marijuana. January 11, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

High Tech Cannabis Campus Planned for Buffalo

Campus to be located at Lakeside Commons

January 11, 2019 - 9:41 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - A San Diego cannabis company was approved to begin development on a $200 Million high-tech cannabis campus in Buffalo.

The company, Flora California Prime, was approved to acquire 47 acres at the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park from the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation. Flora plans to transform the site in to a multi-faceted high-tech cannabis campus that will work in collaboration with a state funded cancer research facility and with Erie Community College, which will be developing a curriculum around the cannabis industry. 

"We look forward to working in partnership with Flora... to lead development and training in Western New York for what promises to be a burgeoning new industry," said SUNY Erie President Dan Hocoy.

Flora says it has aligned with Roswell Park to conduct a robust medical research program on the campus.

Construction on the project is expected to begin as soon as the state legislature approves a recreational marijuana law, which is expected to happen this year. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to outline what legalized marijuana would look like in New York on Tuesday. 

"We don't think it's premature," Mayor Byron Brown told reporters after sale. "The company that we are selling the land to is in this industry in California. They have been extremely successful in the industry. They know the industry well and feel confident that recreational marijuana sales will be legalized in the State of New York and wanted to position themselves to be on the leading edge of that industry moving forward."

Brown said that the city has an avenue to reacquire the land. Should the legislature not pass recreational marijuana laws, the city can take the land back.

Brad Termini, a Buffalo native at the head of Zephyr Development in California, approached the City of Buffalo in the fall about the prospect of creating a campus. He envisioned the land becoming similar to bio-campuses that are developed around the country.

"We have a partnership with SUNY Erie to develop curriculum that will run the most robust college educational job training program in the country," Termini said. "Every great campus has a research component and so we have a partnership with Roswell Park that's going to be conducting medical research around the cannabis plant."

Other concepts will be envisioned such as incubators and a one-million square foot manufacturing plant for Flora. Flora's facility will feature cannabis growth in greenhouses that can extract oil and create health and wellness products.

When asked whether he envisions a marijuana dispensary on the campus, Termini said it was "not in their plans today".

Officials estimate the project to create 500 to 1,000 jobs in the area. The site contains 1.25 Million square feet of buildable space, making the cannabis campus one of the largest of its kind in the nation.

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