I S S U E 11
SIBLINGS H E M P I R E BI U I L D NIAGARA N FA P G . 24 L L S
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28 5 8
P UBLISHER’S LETTER
L ICENSING PREP
4(20) steps prospective applicants can take right now.
12 FIRST WEED MAG IN U.S. WAS MADE IN BUFFALO Explore the complex history of The University at Buffalo’s weird, groundbreaking publication, The Marijuana Review.
14 CANNABLOTTER 18 HEADSHOP HIGHLIGHT: SHAKE N DAZE SMOKE SHOPS 22 LEGALIZATION: ONE SMALL STEP FOR PSYCHONAUTS DUO STRIVES TO BUILD “HEMPIRE” 24 SINIBLING NIAGARA FALLS
27 CANNABIS BUSINESS INSURANCE
Happy Spring (and 420) to all of our readers. This past year has been quite the journey. From navigating pandemic restrictions that were constantly in flux to following many new and exciting developments in the cannabis space.Spring brings the possibility of outdoor gatherings and sunshine to hopefully kill some COVID virus and pandemic blues.
Shortly after the publication of our winter issue, we made a shocking discovery; CannaBuff is not the first cannabis magazine in Buffalo! IN FACT, WE WERE LATE BY 51 YEARS.
Learn about the top three most common coverages that cannabis businesses should consider.
FLWR CITY HARVEST CUP
Check out what’s going on at this year’s annual New York State flower competition.
CANNABIS AND COVID
WNY CANNABIS BUSINESS DIRECTORY
Can cannabis really help treat COVID as media outlets say it can?
Publisher: Geoffrey Brown Creative Director: Justin DeLuca Distribution & Advertising: Pavel Belov Graphic Design: Alex Monterville Contributing Artist: Seth Graham
Maria Janda, PharmD Jake Schecter, RN Terrance Bellnier, RPh, MPA Kaelan Castetter Michael Monzillo, MS DISCLAIMER: The information and documents herein (the content) are intended for personal, noncommercial, general informational purposes, do not constitute medical advice, and are not a substitute for the advice of a medical provider or other licensed professional. CannaBuff makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, timeliness, correctness, suitability, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose of the content, and in no event shall CannaBuff or its employees be liable for damages resulting from reading or use of the content. References to specific commercial products, or services by tradename, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by CannaBuff.
PHONE: (716) 218-0624 EMAIL: Geoff@CannaBuff.com WEBSITE: CannaBuff.com
TWITTER: @CannaBuffNY FACEBOOK: @CannaBuffNY INSTAGRAM: @CannaBuffMag
The first cannabis periodical in U.S. history, “The Marijuana Review”, was published in Buffalo from 1968-1973 by a student group at UB associated with LeMar International (LeMar, stood for legalize marijuana, and would later become NORML). The publication sold for 50 cents per issue and was available to mail subscribers. Our cover for this issue is actually inspired by an old cover of the MJ review! Read all about it in our feature story! This issue showcases some awesome stories of local businesses making waves in the cannabis space; we talk about the legalization of psychedelics, how to prepare for cannabis legalization, pepper in some amazing new artwork and much more. To subscribe by mail visit cannabuff.com/subscribe. Also check out our new podcast @ anchor.fm/empire-state-of-cannabis. If you want to support CannaBuff even further, we now have sweatshirts and T-Shirts available for purchase on our website. You know we would do this for free, but if you are inclined to show off that CannaBuff pride, more power to ya!
Geoff Brown Founder, CannaBuff
AGE SPECIFIC CONTENT: CannaBuff does
not promote or endorse the use of cannabis by anyone under the age of 21. Age specific content and ads are marked "Ages 21+". Enjoy responsibly.
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LICENSING PREP 4(20) STEPS PROSPECTIVE APPLICANTS CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW
S CANNABUFF READERS
deck is a must for prospective cannabis
certainly know, 2022 promises to
license applicants. We have received
be a huge year for New York State’s
countless phone calls from individuals who
adult-use cannabis market. A
are passionate about the industry and
year removed from the Marijuana
have great ideas but have not committed
Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) becoming
their strategies to paper. The closer
law, the Empire State’s adult-use framework is
we get to application season, the more
finally beginning to take shape. At some point
important it is to have such a document
this year (possibly late summer or early fall),
in place. A clean, readily accessible
the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and Office
document that sets forth the ethos of the
of Cannabis Management (OCM) will finalize
applicant is arguably the most important
regulations that establish the criteria for the
piece of an application, and the OCM will
license categories that will make up the adult-use
almost certainly ask for proof of the same.
supply chain and retail outlets.
What is more, given the anticipated costs
Although these regulations will define the exact requirements that businesses must meet to qualify for one of the state’s coveted adult-use licenses, there are certain steps cannabis entrepreneurs can take right now to prepare for licensing, even in the absence of final regulations.
1. HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN While it may seem obvious, having a concise business plan and/or a crisp pitch
CannaBuff.com SPRING 2022
of standing up an adult-use cannabis business, companies who have a readily accessible pitch deck may have an increased likelihood of securing funding from potential investors. Moral of the story: if your business does not have a viable written business plan, turn your attention to preparing this as soon as possible with, if necessary, the help of your peers in the industry, accountants and other professional advisors.
2. FIND PROPERTY AND PROVE IT WILL BE SECURE The MRTA requires potential applicants to demonstrate they have control or viable access to real property to operate an adult-use cannabis business. See MRTA § 72(4). Whether by signing an option to lease or purchase a site, entering into a purchase agreement contingent upon securing a license, actually leasing a space, or buying a building, the ability to prove to OCM that you have site control for at least the duration of the initial two-year license is critical to being awarded a license. Instituting a security program at that location goes hand-in-hand with controlling it. In mature cannabis markets, security has been an integral piece of license applications. Because adult-use cannabis remains a Schedule I federal substance, and the MRTA is adamant that adults under 21 are not permitted to legally purchase or consume cannabis, all adult-use cannabis and trimmings must
be accounted for from seed to sale. The right and compliant fencing, 24/7 video surveillance, badging in and out, and hiring dedicated security personnel are
The more prepared a prospective
Finally, the MRTA requires that a retail
the easier it will be to refine its business
just a few security staples we anticipate.
or on-site consumption applicant must
3. DRAFT A SOCIAL EQUITY PLAN
licensure within the municipality’s limits.
One of the stated legislative goals of the
pality is given the opportunity to submit
MRTA is to “make substantial investments in communities and people most impacted by cannabis criminalization to address the consequences of such criminalization.” Accordingly, the MRTA requires the CCB to “promote diversity in commerce, ownership and employment, and opportunities for social and economic equity in the adult-use cannabis industry.” MRTA § 87(2). Moreover, in considering applications, the MRTA requires that the OCM “actively promote applicants that foster racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in their workforce.” MRTA § 87(6). It is a major advantage for businesses, especially those that do not qualify as social and economic equity applicants, to have sincere plans to show how their cannabis company intends to benefit those communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of
notify the municipality that it is seeking MRTA § 76(1). In response, the municiits position regarding the applicant’s
plan to fit the exact requirements set forth by the CCB and OCM. Put simply, the time is upon New Yorkers to get their plans in order for application season, and the sooner the better. The Lippes Mathias cannabis practice
record the OCM relies upon to decide
team will continue to monitor devel-
whether to award the license. MRTA §
opments in New York’s burgeoning
76(4). While notice is not required for
cannabis industry, including when
other license types, the OCM will likely
adult-use regulations are published,
still consider a municipality’s position
and when applications are expected to
in conjunction with a licensing decision
be released. If you have any questions,
for a cultivator, nursery, cooperative,
please contact one of our attorneys.
processor, distributor, microbusiness, or delivery license. With the large number of anticipated applicants, the more the municipality can put its weight behind an applicant with a letter of support, the more successful the business is likely to be in the application process.
To date, regulators have given little
could discuss, among
These letters of support
guidance on what a social equity plan must entail and for good reason. The benefits each company can offer their respective communities will be unique to the individual business and the community within which it intends to operate. Whether this is by committing to source 50 percent of products from minority-owned cultivators, mentoring a certain number of social-equity processors each year, promoting diversity in employment and/or management, or donating a portion of proceeds to funding cannabis conviction expungements across New York, having a social equity plan is a must, and the more robust the plan, the
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY
applicant is prior to this window opening,
licensing, which will be made part of the
stronger the application will be.
to assemble and submit their materials.
4. MEET WITH THE MUNICIPALITY YOU INTEND TO OPERATE IN
other things, social equity or environmental impact plans, zoning, economic impact or community integration. The more unified the applicant and municipality appear to be, the better positioned the applicant will likely be.
CONCLUSION Once applications are officially released, there will likely be a short window for businesses
Ryan V. Stearns is a partner at Lippes Mathias LLP, where he serves as the co-leader for the firm’s Cannabis Practice Team, advising cannabis companies and related businesses on issues related to legal cannabis business activities and real estate transactions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thomas B. Hughes, a corporate attorney and co-leader of Lippes Mathias LLP’s cannabis practice team, advises clients in areas related to the growth, cultivation, processing, distribution, marketing, transportation, and sale of cannabis products as well as corporate structuring. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Joseph W. Schafer advises clients on both New York state and federal cannabis law as it pertains to both cannabinoid hemp, medical and adult-use marijuana, and has handled litigation matters for cannabisrelated businesses. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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HEADSHOP HIGHLIGHT SERIES 18
SHAKE N DAZE SMOKE SHOPS
CannaBuff.com SPRING 2022
Following the Grateful Dead, making money on Shakedown Street, and opening up Shake N Daze Smoke Shops.
“Nothin' shakin' on shakedown street, used to be the heart of town Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart, you just gotta poke around” - LYRICS FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD’S SONG SHAKEDOWN STREET
AVE WAS RAISED ON
the next trip and the accompanying show.
After seeing success at his first shop, he
For nearly a decade Dave followed the
opened 3 additional locations on Main
MUSIC. His parents were
Grateful Dead and Phish around the US
St., Broadway, and one in Fredonia. The
die-hard Dead fans, and
selling glass to concert attendees. Truly
Main St.and Fredonia locations would
he grew up frequently
emblematic of the Deadhead lifestyle,
eventually close down after facing large
attending festivals and concerts with
Dave lived a life full of travel, adventure,
fluctuations in business due to nearby
them. When Dave was old enough, he
partying, and good music for many years.
college schedules, but his Broadway
began following the Dead and bands like Phish around the United States in his van with his girlfriend and dog. He started selling glass pipes and custom-made pins on Shakedown street to fund his travel and ticket expenses. To those unfamiliar with the Dead, Shakedown Street is the vending area at the parking lot tailgate of Grateful Dead concerts (named after the song of the same name). Life was simple, glass sales from one concert would fund
But eventually, Dave decided to return to Buffalo. He had saved up $2000, and he decided he’d try to start his own head
location still exists today. “Competition in the Buffalo Niagara area is increasing every day,” Dave says.
shop, bringing a little piece of Shakedown
Shake N Daze’s landmark locations
street back to Buffalo with him. He was
on South Park and Broadway remain
able to purchase some old display cases
Buffalo staples mirroring the inspirational
from Heading to Hertel off of craigslist
music of the Dead and the essence of
and used them to open his first location on
South Park Avenue when he was just 24 years old.
Shakedown street hosts a wide variety of vendors from food and beverages, to clothing, jewelry, art, drugs, and paraphernalia.
Whether you’re interested in purchasing papers, wraps, glass, or gifts, stop by Shake N Daze and see what they have to offer.
1929 SOUTH PARK AVE. BUFFALO, NY 14200
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LEGALI ONE SMALL STEP FOR
ARE PSYCHEDELICS UP NEXT?
The legalization of cannabis marks an important step in a larger effort to decriminalize and eventually legalize other drugs. The fascinating world of psychedelics is quickly making its way into public discourse. Just like cannabis, psychedelics (hallucinogens) are Schedule 1 drugs that are commonly used recreationally and are also subject of substantial debate for their therapeutic potential. Psychedelics are currently going through the same transition as cannabis did from regulatory prohibition to increasing recognition of their therapeutic potential. Psilocybin has already been “deprioritized” by 13 US cities (list below). This means that law enforcement doesn’t prioritize policing, prosecuting, or arresting people for possessing the drug, but the drug is still illegal.
LIST OF US CITIES “DEPRIORITIZING” PSILOCYBIN LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTION ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘
CannaBuff.com SPRING 2022
CALIFORNIA: Arcata, Oakland, and Santa Cruz COLORADO: Denver DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Washington M ASSACHUSETTS: Cambridge, Easthampton, Northampton, and Somerville MICHIGAN: Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County WASHINGTON: Seattle and Port Townsend
ZATION A PSYCHONAUT IS SOMEONE THAT AIMS TO EXPLORE ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS, OFTEN THROUGH THE USE OF PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS (INCLUDING PSYCHEDELICS). Detroit Michigan and the State of Oregon have decriminalized psilocybin with Oregon legalizing the drug for therapeutic use. The State of Washington has also proposed Statewide decriminalization. Psilocybin is being investigated for depression, end-of-life anxiety and depression, drug dependence, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and even headache. The FDA has granted psilocybin breakthrough therapy designation for depression and although early research is promising, we will have to wait to learn more in the coming years. Other psychedelics include LSD, and DMT, the active compound in Ayahuasca. These compounds have also been heavily researched. Psychedelics have been used for thousands of years throughout many cultures in the world. Due to their mind-altering effects, they were often used in rituals for spiritual purposes. Psychedelics exert various effects on the brain and body in a different way than cannabinoids. One of the most notable effects is hallucinations which are false sensory perceptions that occur without an external stimulus. These effects are produced when psychedelics interact with a specific receptor in the brain, the serotonin type 2A receptor (abbreviated 5HT-2A). All psychedelics interact with this receptor resulting in similar acute effects such as changes in perception, cognition, mood, and emotion. Using psychedelics may also result in delayed, longer-lasting effects that could possibly even lead to positive changes in life attitudes.
PSYCHONAUTS & DRUG PROHIBITION
A psychonaut is someone that aims to explore altered states of consciousness, often through the use of psychotropic drugs (including psychedelics). Terence McKenna, Hamilton Morris (Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia), and Edward Jessup (Altered States) come to mind as notable examples. There’s no certification or formal training to undergo to become a psychonaut. You simply explore experiences of mind and reality through meditation, mind-altering substances, or both. Throughout history, psychonauts have been forced to seek out mind-altering substances through clandestine channels that carry substantial risk with obtaining and using the drug(s). This political drug approval process we’re seeing in the US whereby drugs are decriminalized, and eventually legalized makes the psychonauts endeavor a little safer. At the very least, the psychonauts are safer from criminal prosecution when drugs are decriminalized and in the instance of legalization, regulations effectively improve consumer safety.
The Law Enforcement Action Partnership, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, takes a similar stance on drug policy (although for a different reason). Members of LEAP believe that drug prohibition is precisely the reason why drugs are lucrative to sell and that as long as widespread prohibition is in place, the war on drugs will be futile. As psychedelics continue to progress through the political approval process, the pathway will likely become even more routine. Drugs that were once considered highly unsafe for widespread public use will eventually be decriminalized and even legalized for medical and recreational purposes. Fact: the r/psychonaut community on reddit has over 380k members!
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Some psychonauts may have a libertarian view on drug policy. From their perspective, drug prohibition doesn’t make any sense. It’s an individual’s decision to use a drug and to fully understand the risks, benefits, and consequences of that use. Throughout history, some famous psychonauts have become permanently disabled, suffered severe distress, or have even died in their quest to explore increasingly extreme states of consciousness. SPRING 2022 CannaBuff.com
SIBLING DUO STRIVES TO BUILD IN NIAGARA FALLS iblings Jim and
The pair realized a key way
pivoted to offer customers free
Hemp Holistics could now
to differentiate their business
home delivery, consultations
boast vertical integration for
from the rest of the stores
by phone, and online ordering.
their in-house brand. Demon-
working to build
selling CBD was to focus on
While these changes certainly
strating that they exercise
an enduring cannabis business.
quality and product selection.
helped, the impact of the
total control of their product
A feat not for the faint of heart.
Kari worked hard to source
pandemic is still being felt by
life cycle from Seed to Sale.
From retail stores to cGMP
quality products, while Jim
their store today.
This was a key achievement as
certified facilities, to organic
worked on developing quality
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products in-house. They
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quickly built out their inventory
of the complex and ever-evolv-
offering a wide variety of CBD
ing cannabis industry in New
products from salves, tinctures,
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The struggles have been many, the goal has been constant. The essence of their goal is best captured by a note written on a whiteboard in Jim Bullman’s office that reads, “Must build Hempire.”
A PROMISING START The Bullmans’ entry into hemp/ cannabis came through the opening of their retail store, One Hemp Holistics, located on Military Road (2023 Military) in Niagara Falls. The store saw early success in the green wave that brought CBD to store shelves everywhere. At the time, it seemed like everyone was selling CBD (even Family Video), but the quality of the products being sold was more than questionable.
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topicals, beverages, and more. The siblings then found themselves in a unique position. Their storefront, located directly across from the Niagara Falls Fashion outlets, was perfectly positioned to pull in ready to spend customers that were looking for gifts, remedies, and other products that contained the new and popular ingredient, CBD. The staff at One Hemp Holistics worked hard and achieved sizable sales in their initial years operating the business.
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they began to push their brand
NEW ENDEAVORS In the midst of the pandemic
into other stores through their wholesale relationships.
(2020), and facing a retail
Niagara Hemp Supply’s
downturn, the Bullmans
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received organic certification
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from NOFA (the Northeast
a focus on wholesale, their
Organic Farming Association).
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They’ve also collaborated with
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and death to many retail
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businesses. Feeling the impact
cycle. Through the creation of
of the pandemic, Kari quickly
Niagara Hemp Supply, One
While many more challenges are surely ahead, Kari and Jim have proven that they are up for it and have positioned themselves as leaders in cannabis/hemp in Niagara county. If you’re looking to add high quality cbd products to your store or are interested in partnering with a top performing product line, contact Kari to discuss wholesale options. White and private labels are available! 716.465.8787 / email@example.com
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LEARN ABOUT THE TOP THREE MOST COMMON COVERAGES THAT CANNABIS BUSINESSES SHOULD CONSIDER. hances are when you think of the Cannabis industry your first thought is not insurance. Although insurance is not as sexy as that frosty nugget you can hold in your hand or as interesting as the ins and outs of growing, it does play a crucial role in the cannabis industry. We all know that Cannabis is now legal in New York and with that comes the excitement of the legal market. Whether your business is focused on the medical or recreational sale of cannabis, you will face both challenges and opportunities. The success of your business will rest largely on the decisions you make in the early stages. Many cannabis businesses face substantial risks daily, so having a comprehensive insurance program with a trusted partner is imperative.
The type of insurance coverage available will depend on what aspect of the Cannabis world you are entering. Coverages can vary depending on whether you are a third-party testing facility, grower, dispensary owner, and so on. For this article, we will discuss the top three most common coverages that cannabis businesses should consider.
up in the hospital. You can pretty much guarantee that there will be a lawsuit and that your testing facility will be named. Again, without the right coverage in place, you will be selling all that shiny testing equipment in order to pay legal fees and medical expenses. Lastly, there is Workers Compensation insurance. This is a type of coverage that’s required by New York State that provides your employees with coverage of medical expenses and lost wages if they get hurt on the job. Your employees are your lifeblood, so it’s important to take care of them and to make sure they get covered in the event of an accident or injury on the job. So, before I wrap this article up, I want to stress how important it is to have the right coverage for your Cannabis business. You can see that without it you are leaving your business exposed and could potentially watch your business go up in smoke. It really boils down to having an agent that knows the industry and has your best interest in mind. With that said please check out JD Chapman for your Cannabis insurance needs at: jdchapmaninc.com/cannabis.
General liability insurance typically covers you and your company for claims involving bodily injuries and property damage resulting from your products, services, or operations. It may also be referred to as “slip and fall” insurance. In addition, it helps pay for legal defense in the event your company is sued. Let’s be honest, we live in a litigious society so it’s important to have limits that are going to cover you if you are ever taken to court. For example, imagine that you’re lucky enough to receive a license to open a retail cannabis store. It’s opening day and people are lined up because they are looking for the best bud in town. While people are coming and going from the store someone slips and BOOM just like that, they break their leg and have serious back injuries. If you don’t have the right liability limits in place, then all that money you invested to get your shop up and running could end up going towards legal fees and medical expenses for the injured party. The second most common coverage you should look for is Products and Completed Operations coverage, which falls under General Liability. Products and Completed Operations is a form of insurance coverage that protects you from customer lawsuits alleging property damage or bodily injury due to your product or completed service. Let’s say you are a third-party testing facility and you just recently certified that a batch of cannabis flower contained no harmful substances. Well somehow your instruments were not calibrated properly or a step in your process was missed, and you didn’t catch residual pesticides that were present in the flower. A customer gets his hands on this bad flower, smokes it, and ends
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY
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FLWR CITY HARVEST CUP BY NHI KHA
The FLWR CITY CUP is an annual New York State flower competition curated to build community and raise funds for reinvestment in community development initiatives. This year’s Harvest Cup flower competition showcases both CBD and THC varieties grown locally in New York state. Over 60 plus submissions were received and submissions were stripped of their identity (name, coa, etc) and assigned a random number so that judges were blinded. The root of the FLWR CITY Harvest Cup competition is to engage cannabis consumers and stakeholders in group initiatives in support of causes we all believe in. Our vision is to prove that Cannabis Used Positively can build up communities to create lasting impact. Through these events, we aim to raise money and resources to fill the CUP with funds that are shared back into the community.
The People’s Choice For this year’s competition, FLWR CITY partnered with several cannabis organizations and businesses throughout New York to host seven People’s Choice Pop Up Parties in various cities. Through these events, consumers were able to participate through a live public judging. Events were hosted throughout March in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, NYC, and Long Island. The People’s Choice competition was a live “buffet” style grading process - where the Top 30 THC & Top 20 CBD submissions were on display in the MasonBrite magnifying jars for optimal visual grading. Over 1,000 people attended the People’s Choice Pop parties throughout the state – even cannabis legend Steve DeAngelo came to judge and grade NYS finest cannabis!
From left to right: 1. Judges grade flower submissions; 2 & 3 FLWR CITY Cup contest in Finger Lakes Region
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C.U.P - Cannabis Use Positively - Filling the CUP Fund With the support and engagement of the community, last year’s FLWR CITY Harvest Cup raised $6,000 for community reinvestment. In 2022, the organizers are aiming higher with the goal of raising $20,000 for community reinvestment. The recipients of this year’s fund are community organizations based in Buffalo and Rochester; Massachusetts Avenue Project, Roc Food Relief, Avenue Blackbox, Noire Collective, and Food for the Spirit. To donate and help FILL THE CUP, please visit www.flwrcitycup.com.
How we’re raising funds With the support and engagement of the community, last year’s FLWR CITY Harvest Cup raised $6,000 for community reinvestment. In 2022, the organizers are aiming higher with the goal of raising $20,000 for community reinvestment. The recipients of this year’s fund are community organizations based in Buffalo and Rochester; Massachusetts Avenue Project, Roc Food Relief, Avenue Blackbox, Noire Collective, and Food for the Spirit. To donate and help FILL THE CUP, please visit www.flwrcitycup.com.
From left to right: FLWR City cup founder Zach Sarkis and cannabis legend Steve DeAngelo; Sarkis and event collaborators Nhi Kha and John Frazier; Sarkis and Kaelan Castetter of Castetter Cannabis Group
Judges This year’s Harvest Cup brought together an incredible group of NYS Cannabis Industry leaders, advocates, change-makers, and entrepreneurs to serve as judges for Harvest Cup Finals! Industry judges were given a Judge’s Box containing the Top 20 cultivars from this year’s competition. The FLWR City Harvest Cup Champion will be decided from the People’s Choice and Industry Judges gradings. Flower submissions will be graded on a variety of factors judged by industry experts for their smell, structure, and characteristics.
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CANNABIS AND COVID allow for the medical and/or scientific community to endorse cannabis therapy as a treatment option for the direct prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, the global medical and scientific communities alike have sought solutions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus as well as treating those that have been affected, something that has been largely demanded by the general population as we seek a return to so-called normal as soon as possible. This demand has led many media outlets to expedite the publication of any information they believe could aid in the fight against COVID-19 and end the pandemic. With this has come an accelerated frenzy of publications surrounding cannabis therapy, some of which have promoted misconceptions about cannabis therapy as a treatment option for COVID-19. While there have been a limited number of preclinical studies that show cannabis MAY help in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 the lack of rigorous scientific research and data does not
Similar to the preclinical studies, a small number of observational studies have been conducted to investigate changes in cannabis consumption among the general public during the pandemic. Two such studies are a rapid response study in the Netherlands and an online survey study of cancer patients using cannabis. The study in the Netherlands recruited 1,563 cannabis users in April of 2020 and asked them to report changes in their consumption of cannabis since the pandemic started and if so, the motives for such changes. The results showed that 41.3% of people increased their consumption, 49.4% consumed the same as before, and 6.6% consumed less during the pandemic. Regarding motives, the top three reasons for increasing consumption were boredom (78.4%), stress (36.3%), and mental health (30.1%). The study of cancer patients was conducted in 2020 with 85 partic-
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CAN CANNABIS REALLY HELP TREAT COVID AS MEDIA OUTLETS SAY IT CAN?
ipants who were also asked to report if they had made a change in cannabis consumption and what were their main reasons for consuming cannabis. The results of this study showed that 81% of participants were using the same amount, 11.5% were using less, and 8% were using more than before. The top 3 reasons for consuming cannabis were sleep (53.8%), anxiety (46.2%), and nausea (42.3%). With data showing a significant increase in cannabis consumption among the public during the pandemic, there has undoubtedly been an increased line of inquiry surrounding cannabis’ potential protective effects against COVID-19. A preclinical study published in 2022 looked at the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the coronavirus outbreak in 2019. Investigators found that CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD potently block SARS-CoV-2 from replicating in lung epithelial cells. They came to this finding by pretreating human lung cells with CBD for two hours prior to infection with SARS-CoV-2. After 48 hours they monitored the cells for expression of a viral spike protein, a clear sign of COVID infection, and found that CBD potently inhibited viral replication. This shows that cannabis preparations, more specifically CBD, may have the ability to be a preventative agent for early-stage COVID infection. However, this information must be interpreted cautiously as this study was conducted in a laboratory setting using human cells and NOT in humans themselves via a placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. While this is promising, it should be noted that preclinical results may not be replicated in human clinical trials. Recently, the media has taken the stance that cannabis use, regardless of the mode of consumption, is a viable treatment option for COVID-19. Though it is a promising avenue for treatment, the lack of legitimate information currently available on the subject makes it difficult to substantiate this claim. Cannabis is a very complex plant and to make the generalization that the whole plant and all the cannabinoids involved can treat COVID-19 is scientifically unjustified and irresponsible. However, under the medical supervision of a trained clinician with a background in cannabis therapy, hemp-based CBD preparations and/or Medical Cannabis may be an option as an adjunctive treatment for COVID-19 either acutely or prophylactically. Indications in which cannabis has a noted effect as
an adjunctive therapy include sleep disturbance, anxiety disorders, and post-viral pain syndromes. CBD is just one of 144 known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that has been used in the treatment of a variety of diseases with limited side effects. Although, just because CBD has shown promising signs as a preventative agent for COVID-19 infection, it does not mean all types of cannabis consumption can have a positive medicinal effect. When consuming cannabis, especially in the form of smoke, there are many chemical substances entering the body that can lead to possible negative side effects which in turn could increase the risk for upper respiratory diseases such as COVID. This is because smokers have an upregulation of the angiotensin-converting enzyme II-receptor, which is the primary entry point for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Therefore, it’s necessary to choose a mode of administration that would least interfere with the respiratory system such as tinctures or capsules. As of the time this article was written the COVID-19 pandemic remains a global issue, with medical professionals and scientists alike searching for new avenues of prevention and/or treatment. The relentless efforts of our scientific community will likely yield new information. Nonetheless, at this point in time unsupervised cannabis use and even supervised use of cannabis SHOULD NOT be considered as a first-line treatment for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19. The first option should always be the vaccine, if available and feasible. Only when under the supervision of a medical professional that has experience with cannabis therapy should the possibility of cannabis use, as an adjunctive treatment option be discussed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Furthermore, when discussing this possibility of cannabis use as a treatment method it should be made clear that smoking or vaping cannabis is not a practical method of consumption, especially when considering COVID-19 infections predominantly affect the lungs.
MD, FAAN, FEAN, FASN, FAHS Medical Director, DENT Neurologic Institute Chief, Neuro-Oncology Roswell Park Cancer Institute Medical Director, Jushi
Dr. Laszlo Mechtler is Professor of Neurology and Oncology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is UCNS certified in Neuroimaging, Neuro-Oncology and Headache Medicine. Dr. Mechtler is the Medical Director of the DENT Neurologic Institute.
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WNY Cannabis Business Directory CANNABIS & RELATED BUSINESSES LOCATED IN WESTERN NEW YORK
NYS MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES The Botanist 192 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14204 (716) 322-4411 MedMen 6850 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14221 (716) 954-8276 Verilife 25 N Pointe Pkwy #30, Amherst, NY 14228 (716) 210-9496 Columbia Care 200 W Ridge Rd, Rochester, NY 14615 (585) 678-8390 FP Wellness 1150 University Ave Bldg 5 Suite 7, Rochester, NY 1460 (585) 242-0203
RECREATIONAL DISPENSARIES ON NATIVE LAND VALID PHOTO ID REQUIRED. 21+ ONLY. Adlai’s Smoke Dispensery 12689 Route 438, Irving, NY (716) 698-4671 T.H.Chiefs 12134 Rt. 438 Irving, NY 14081 (716) 934-5130 GoodLeaf 716 14411 NY-438, Gowanda, NY 14070 (716) 532-HIGH (4444) GoodLeaf Salamanca 730 Broad Street, Salamanca, NY 14779 (716) 945-HIGH (4444) Top Shelf Dispensary 5062 Green Rd, Lewiston, NY 14092 CannaRawgus Dispensary 12789 NY-438, Irving, NY 14081 (716) 202-9961 Alien Greenz on I-Hill Dispensary 11035 Redeye Dr, Perrysburg, NY 14129 (716)-239-1752 Green Wolf Dispensary 12156 Brant Reservation Rd, Irving, NY 14081 The Lab Dispensary 10924 Old Lake Shore Rd, Irving, NY 14081 (716)-868-8694
HEMP-CBD RETAILERS Bison Botanics 1100 Military Rd Unit 1, Buffalo, NY 14217 (716) 259-9001 Buffalo Botanicals Derby, NY 14047, US (716) 200-7459 Buffalo Sport & Spine 100 College Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 1422 (716) 626-0093 Flowered Wellness 3911 N Buffalo St, Orchard Park, NY 14127 (716) 662-1795 The Kokoro Way Tonawanda 1856 Colvin Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (716) 930-4073
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The Kokoro Way Clarence 10255 Main St #2, Clarence, NY 14031 (716) 930-4073
Buffalo Smokes 942 Maple Rd, Buffalo, NY 14221 (716) 906-3112
The Kokoro Way East Aurora 712 Main St, East Aurora, NY 14052 (716) 930-4073
Buffalo Smokes 394 Evans St., Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 458-0460
Sativa Remedy 19 Main St, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (716) 260-1324
Buff City Smoke Shop 88 Lisbon Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214 (716) 464-3851
Your CBD Store Kenmore 3191 Delaware Ave, Kenmore, NY 14217 (716) 768-2020
California Dreamin’ Smoke Shop 7806 Transit Rd, Buffalo, NY 14221 (716) 276-8714
Your CBD Store Depew 5319 Transit Rd, Depew, NY 14043 (716) 393-3400
Cannacopia 18 Jamestown St., Gowanda, NY 14070
Your CBD Store Hamburg 4154 McKinley Pkwy Suite 800 Blasdell, NY 14219 (716) 649-1940 Your CBD Store Williamsville 8070 Transit Rd, Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 458-0075 Your CBD Store Irondequoit 1971 East Ridge Road, Irondequoit, NY 14622 (585) 978-7441 Your CBD Store East Rochester 129 W Commercial St. East Rochester, NY 14445 (585) 485-0105 NIRA Physician Formulated CBD (located in Dent Tower) 3980 Sheridan Drive First Floor, East Wing, Amherst, NY 14226 (716) 466-6363 One Hemp Holistics 2023 Military Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304 (716) 362-9499
MEDICAL MARIJUANA PRACTITIONERS
Cloud 9 Smokes & Vapors on Elmwood 476 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222 (716) 881-1100 Cloud 9 Smokes & Vapors on the Boulevard 1594 Niagara Falls Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (716) 831-8273 Cloud 9 Smokes & Vapors on Hertel 1567 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216 (716) 836-1111 Decades Psychedelic Daze 2895 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14224 (716) 677-0311 Decades Too 6053 Transit Rd, Depew, NY 14043 (716) 681-4420 Decades III 2855 Sheridan Dr, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (716) 322-5631 Decades Hamburg 4514 Camp Rd, Hamburg, NY 14075 (716) 202-1953 Elevated Smoke Shop 7 Kelly Drive, Cheektowaga, NY 14227 (716) 322-6499
For a full list of practitioners that consent to being listed publicly please visit the NYS Department of Health’s MMJ program website.
Glass Roots 12 Center St, Batavia, NY 14020 (585) 345-7420
Gerald Frisicaro-MS/ANP DBA 3911 N Buffalo St, Orchard Park, NY 14127 (716) 662-1795
Golden Pipe Smoke Shop Cheektowaga 3770 Harlem Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14215 (716) 833-7473
Jarod Masci, MD of Landmark Health Systems 387 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 462-0284
Golden Pipe Smoke Shop Lackawanna 2540 Hamburg Turnpike Unit #3 Lackawanna, NY 14218 (716) 824-7473
Nerfis Elminowski, DNP-BC of Adult Health DNP PC 2234 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210 (716) 331-3322 Sherry Verostko-Slazak, ANP-BC of Advanced Integrative Care 8207 Main Street, Suite 7-8, Williamsville, NY 14221 (716)-277-0267
HEAD SHOPS & GLASS RETAILERS Art of Glass Smoke Shop on Delaware 3497 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14217 (716) 712-5347 Art of Glass Smoke Shop on the Boulevard 3154 Niagara Falls Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14228 (716) 712-5347
Greener Mile 174 Orchard Park Rd, West Seneca, NY 14224 (716) 541-0790 Headspace Glass & Gifts Buffalo 67 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14201 (716) 844-8907 Headspace Glass & Gifts Tonawanda 920 Niagara Falls Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14223 (716) 837-0201 Headspace Glass & Gifts East Amherst 5989 Transit Rd, East Amherst, NY 14051 (716) 428-5730 Headspace Glass & Gifts Orchard Park 4170 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park, NY 14127 (716) 648-1111
Local Smoke Shop 42 Allen St, Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 881-0537
Plant Science Laboratories 649 Wyoming Ave, Buffalo, NY 14215 (716) 836-9520
O’s Smoke Shop Lewiston 482 Center St, Lewiston, NY 14092 (716) 246-2241
Spoth Farms (716) 531-1890
O’s Smoke Shop Niagara Falls 1623 Pine Ave, Niagara Falls, NY 14301 (716) 371-2307 Oasis Smoke Shop 4212 Union Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14225 (716) 428-3567 Oasis Smoke Shop 1330 Niagara Falls Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (716) 931-9117 Oasis Smoke Shop 685 Dick Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14225 (716) 901-7774 Oasis Smoke Shop 2 7474 Transit Rd, Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 529-6001 Oasis Smoke Shop 1402 French Rd, Depew, NY 14043 (716) 608-6777 Prism Smoke Shop 1079 Union Rd, West Seneca, NY 14224 (716) 671-8006 Shake N Daze 929 South Park Ave, Buffalo, NY 14220 (716) 257-8138 Shake N Daze Depew 5150 Broadway, Depew, NY 14043 (716) 257-8138 Shoot the Moon Headshop & Wholesale 2273 Saunders Settlement Rd, Sanborn, NY 14132 (716) 462-2605
Steuben Foods (716) 655-4000 ext 357 Three Cord Ranch (716) 200-7459 Weiss Farms (716) 992-9619 Yager Farms (716) 472-8484
CANNABIS/HEMP MILLING KannaMill KannaMill.com (800) 447-4634
PRODUCT TESTING Biotrax Testing Laboratories 3580 Harlem Rd #2, Buffalo, NY 14215 (716) 651-0146
HYDROPONICS STORES Indoor Gardens 3385 Harlem Rd, Buffalo, NY 14225 (716) 844-8375
22nd Century Group, Inc (716) 270-1523 Buffalo Fermentation (716) 828-6068 Eden Agricultural Resources (716) 628-5257 Farm In Peace (716) 560-9584 Hempstead Kitchen (716) 261-8051 Niagara Hemp Supply (716) 201-9842 (716) 362-9499
Ground Level Distribution (716) 775-7969 MEBCO (716) 560-0908
LEGAL SERVICES Patrick J. Hines (716) 848-1679 email@example.com Joseph W. Schafer (716) 853-5100 x1394 firstname.lastname@example.org
Castetter Cannabis Group email@example.com CastetterCannabis.com
Harvest Moon Hydroponics 4204 Union Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14225 (716) 634-8290
Anchor Farms (716) 572-2718
Gramps Garden 7820 Porter Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304 (716) 400-8698
Tasty Clouds Vape & Smoke Shop 3173 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214 (716) 602-3387
HEMP RESEARCH PARTNERS (FARMERS & PROCESSORS)
DISTRIBUTORS Art of Glass Wholesale 50 French Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14227
SLA Solutions SLASolutions.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Zone Hydroponics 2928 Southwestern Blvd. Orchard Park, NY 14127 (716) 677-9663
Village One Stop Smoke Shop 11 Commercial St, Angola, NY 14006 (716) 549-0393
Office of Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes 425 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14203 (716) 897-9714
Buffalo Roots Hydroponics & Organics 3231 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214 (716) 240-9075
Smoke World Smoke & Vape Shop 1050 Harlem Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14227 (716) 931-5545
Terrapin Station 1172 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216 (716) 874-6677
CANNABIS ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS WNY NORML (716) 440-1560 email@example.com
CANNABIS EVENTS CannaHouse Canna-House.com
SEED & PLANT TREATMENTS LPC Naturals (716) 529-6333
HOME GROW CONSULTANTS Plant It Express PlantItExpressNY.com @PlantItExpress firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOKKEEPING SERVICES Canna Bookkeeper LLC @cannabookkeeper CannaBookkeeper@gmail.com
BUSINESS INSURANCE JD Chapman Insurance Agency (585)-394-5482 jdchapmaninc.com
CANNABIS EDUCATION Erie County Community College (716) 851-1322 Finger Lakes Community College flcc.edu Niagara County Community College 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd. Sanborn, NY 14132 (716) 614-6222 Syracuse University email@example.com
Want your business listed? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING 2022 CannaBuff.com
SAVE THE DATE
NY GROWNBIGGEST EXPO SALE
7.30.22 OF THE YEAR! VENDORS · RAFFLE PRIZES · SWAG & MORE!
(BROADWAY LOCATION ONLY)
WALK-IN CIGAR HUMIDOR
0:00 P.M. –1
BUFFALO'S LARGEST KRATOM SELECTION
SCAN CODE FOR
20% off ONE GLASS ITEM MAY NOT BE COMBINED WITH OTHER DISCOUNTS. PRESENT COUPON IN STORE.
ShakenDazeSmokeShop.com 716-257-8138 1380 FRENCH RD. DEPEW 14043
Shake N Daze
1929 SOUTH PARK AVE. BUFFALO 14220
5150 BROADWAY ST. DEPEW 14043
NO REFERRAL NEEDED All medical conditions covered Over 35 DENT providers certified to assist you Insurance accepted
www.dentinstitute.com 3980 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. NY 14226
716-250-2000 40 George Karl Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14221
@DentInstitute 200 Sterling Dr, Orchard Park, NY 14127