Rochester couple hoping to land Cannabis Dispensary License

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — On Thursday, New York State began accepting applications from people who want to open legal marijuana dispensaries in New York. At the front of the line was a Rochester couple who meets the benchmarks and is hoping to get one of the first licenses to legally sell.

Britni and Jayson Tantalo have been preparing for this day for many years. “We’ve always had a passion for cannabis and we’ve watched other states become legal and we knew New York would eventually join that,” explains Britni. They are ready to open Flower City Dispensary in Rochester and believe they meet the requirements to be a first-round recipient of a license. “I think it’s a way for us to right the wrongs, I think that Jayson and myself having criminal cannabis charges has hindered us in life and given us now the opportunity to be first,” Britni says.

A few years ago they opened Flower City Hydroponics in Fairport which sells growing equipment. “We also have worked hard to work away from what held us back and that’s why we have the two years of profitable business revenue to be able to show so, it really kind of encompasses who we are entirely,” she says.

The Tantalo’s submitted their application to the NYS Office of Cannabis Management on Thursday as did many other hopeful entrepreneurs across the state. “The user population, the tourist population all dictate that this will be the biggest market in the world,” says Chris Alexander, the Executive Director of OCM. “The estimates range between $5-15 billion of the total size market but we also know that they’ll be significant job creation which I think also has a strong impact on New York’s economy.”

The Tantalo’s are hoping to have that impact here in Rochester. “We plan to focus on creating jobs and educating our community through workforce development initiatives,” says Britni. “Jayson and I are already in talks and collaborating with local crisis centers to see where we can give support as well as committing as a dispensary, to provide a large share of our employment to women and minorities.”

The deadline for the first round of applications is Sept. 26. After that, OCM says it wants to move fast, hoping to have the first licenses out and legal dispensaries open by the end of the year.

For more information on licensing, visit the NYS Office of Cannabis Management website here.