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What Happens to Flora Buffalo if Legislators Don't Legalize Pot?

"Flora is committed to the City of Buffalo."

June 17, 2019 - 11:47 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - The likelihood of recreational marijuana legalization passing in the state legislature before the end of session on Wednesday has seen somewhat of a roller coaster ride.

Recently, Governor Cuomo made pessimistic comments regarding its passage, saying that there may be too many loose ends to tie up, but on Monday Cuomo seemed again to shift directions with a more optimistic, yet uncertain message.

"I believe we can come to an agreement that will pass, but I don't know," said Cuomo.

With the $200 million Flora Buffalo cannabis campus expected to come to Buffalo, Western New York could be one of the economic beneficiaries of legalization, but of course pot actually has to be legalized for the company to take its next step. Dasheeda Dawson is the president of Flora Buffalo, and she believes there's still a chance for some sort of legislation to pass through the legislature.

"We are still very hopeful about New York's legalization of marijuana," she said. "First and foremost because we know that the majority of New Yorkers support legalization."

But with the perhaps likely chance that nothing can get done before the end of the legislative session Wednesday, Dawson confirmed that Flora wouldn't explore other areas of the country.

"Flora is committed to the City of Buffalo," Dawson began. "This is a deal that has been in place and been talked about for a while...and we also, based on our experience in California, we understand that sometimes this takes some time to happen regardless, and so our goal is to plan for every possibility and move forward with our vision for Buffalo and Western New York as a forefront of the New York cannabis industry."

She added that, as an executive, she'll never complain about receiving more time to plan, and although Flora would ultimately like to see something done in the legislation before this session ends, Dawson would rather see lawmakers get the bill right the first time.

"This is a new industry that we're starting, and there are several ways to skin a cat," she said. "Our hope is of course that we create an industry that is the best possible industry, so if that doesn't happen this year, I wouldn't necessarily count that as a fail - a lot of other states have moved too quickly sometimes, and that hasn't been that great for them, and they've had to go back and undo some of the things that they did."

Listen to the full conversation with Dawson below:

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