First recreational cannabis dispensary in Ontario County opens

First licensed cannabis dispensary in Ontario County opens

First licensed cannabis dispensary in Ontario County opens

GENEVA, N.Y. — After months of preparation, High Points Dispensary held its grand-opening event in Geneva on Saturday — making it the first recreational cannabis dispensary in Ontario County.

It’s been a long time coming. After waiting months for clearance from the state to open his store, owner and CEO Daryl Hilkert says it’s about time.

When Hilkert received his license to sell cannabis last June, he never expected it would take nine months to open his store.

“The first lawsuit that came out in August – we really didn’t take that too serious. We knew it would shut it down for a while but didn’t think it would last forever,” Hilbert said.

A lawsuit that led to a state injunction blocking legal cannabis was just the beginning. With his license on hold, Hilkert was able to open temporarily through the Cannabis Grower Showcase Permit in November.

“We were able to team up with another fully licensed card, so we did that for a couple of months until the end of December, when they expired,” he said.

Since then, Hilkert has been building up his store, a former bank complete with a drive-through. And after months of cutting through red tape, he was able to hold his grand opening, making his store the first recreational marijuana dispensary in Ontario County.

“We had to get through the rest of our final licensure and regulations to get our final certification to open here today,” Hilkert said.

It’s a day that customers like Heather Worthington say they have been waiting for.

“A state dispensary is very different — each product is tested, controlled and monitored versus the ones that are not. So it makes a very big difference in the quality of what you are going to purchase,” Worthington said.

Which is why she says she plans on coming back.

“All of the budtenders are very knowledgeable and have recommendations and really make it an easy use to come in here and be able to customize what people would like,” she said.

Hilkert says the drive-through of his business will allow customers to place orders online and pick them up through the window. The website to place those orders should be up and running in two to four weeks.