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$200 Million Project Collaboration With State Funded Cancer Research Facility and First Accredited Public University Program
NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Flora California Prime Inc. (Flora), a San Diego-based cannabis company focused on the health and wellness space with existing operations throughout California and offices in Buffalo, has been approved to acquire 47 useable acres at the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park from the Buffalo Urban Development Corp., making it one of the largest of its kinds in the nation. The property, a designated New York State Build-Now Shovel Ready Certified Site, will be transformed into a multi-faceted, high tech cannabis campus (campus).
Flora plans to commence construction as soon as New York State Legislature approves the much-anticipated cannabis legislation that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signaled as a high priority for the 2019 legislative session. Estimated project costs are $200 million and is expected to create 500 to 1,000 jobs with a robust commitment to minority hiring and a strong preference to hiring residents from the City of Buffalo.
At full buildout, the campus is expected to contain upwards of 1.25-million square feet of buildable space anchored by a high-tech cannabis factory to support Flora’s cultivation, manufacturing and distribution needs in New York State. Flora will also operate an extraction laboratory and conduct product development, research and house its New York corporate office on the Campus.
The project is a joint venture with Zephyr Investors a real estate development company led by Brad Termini. Termini, a Buffalo native, is also co-founder and Board Director of Flora.
“This is a key opportunity about strategic partnerships with forward-thinking universities and research institutes,” Termini said. “This is an opportunity to explore, using top technology, how the benefits of cannabis can be fully realized.”
Flora has aligned with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, a cancer research and treatment center and a New York State public-benefit corporation, to conduct a robust medical research program on the Campus.
“Cancer patients understandably have many questions about how cannabis might help them to manage the effects of their cancer and their treatments,” says Candace S. Johnson, PhD, President and CEO of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, “but right now there’s such limited evidence to support them. So the Roswell Park team is going to contribute our expertise and our scientific rigor to help answer those questions and determine whether cannabis can be a part of an effective strategy for living with cancer.”
Additionally, SUNY Erie College has agreed to participate on the dynamic campus and is developing curriculum to train the local workforce in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. SUNY Erie’s commitment will position the college as the leading educational institution in the U.S., training workers in the cannabis industry, a first of its kind.
“SUNY Erie has a strong commitment to creating innovative training programs that provide the region’s workforce with the necessary skills to meet the demands of local industry,” said SUNY Erie President Dan Hocoy, Ph.D. “We look forward to working in partnership with Flora, Zephyr and the City of Buffalo to lead development and training in Western New York for what promises to be a burgeoning new industry.”
Located along the Union Ship Canal, the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park has deep roots as an economic engine for the city, when it was known as a steel powerhouse, initially producing pig iron for the Buffalo Union Steel Corporation in the early 1900s. Hanna Furnace Corporation eventually bought the property in 1915 and operated until its bankruptcy in 1986. Since then, New York State, the City of Buffalo and Erie County have collectively invested nearly $30 million to remediate and transform the site into a premier business park with the goal of attracting world class companies to participate in Buffalo’s economy of the future.
“With Flora’s investment at Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, Buffalo stands at the forefront of the legal cannabis industry that is growing statewide and internationally,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Flora’s investment will benefit our area by increasing job opportunities, adding to our tax base and strengthening the institutions that partner with Flora on research and development.”
Other components of the project are still under development by Flora.