Flora California Prime Inc. (Flora), a cannabis company based out of San Diego, has set its eyes on Buffalo to build a high tech cannabis company, which would be one of the largest of its kind in the country. Flora has been approved to acquire 47 acres of usable land at the Buffalo waterfront, in a zone designated as commercial friendly by the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC).
The $200 million project will result in the hiring of between 500 and 1000 employees, who will have access to upwards of 1.2 million square feet of buildable space (at full capacity) that will feature a high tech cannabis factory, an extraction laboratory, and housing for its NYS corporate office. The campus will be designed to handle a variety of company needs including research and development, cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution.
The building of the high-tech cannabis company is a joint project with Zephyr Investors, which is a San Diego real estate development company led by Buffalo native, Brad Termini. Termini is the co-founder and board director of Flora, a company that conducts business in the health and wellness space, and has operations throughout California and offices in Buffalo.
Construction of the facility at Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park will get underway once the NYS legislature approves Governor Cuomo’s cannabis legislation for the legalization of recreational cannabis, which should be a slam dunk coming March or April. The Governor has been pushing for the legalization, as a way to bolster the NYS economy.
Once operational in Buffalo, Flora will work alongside Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute to conduct medical research. SUNY Erie Community College has agreed to develop a curriculum to train a local workforce in the industry. The curriculum will position SUNY Erie as a leader in the space.
With the addition of the facility, the Great Lakes region, including southern Ontario, will become the largest producing region of cannabis in the world. Across the lake in Ontario there are 6 publicly traded companies with valuations in excess of $1 billion that didn’t exists three years ago. This is an important milestone that Buffalo will be able to participate in this rapidly growing industry, creating jobs and economic impact for the region, and eventually cross border trade when the state and federal conflict eases.
Flora’s presence in Buffalo will be a big a nice little boost for the local economy, as well as the overall psyche of WNY. It’s yet another game changer that we can all look forward to seeing grow for years to come. Word is that the developer is negotiating a robust community reinvestment agreement that will have dramatic and far reaching impact into the inner city communities.
Lead image courtesy BUDC