BUFFALO, N.Y. — Zephyr Partners’ portfolio already includes six high-tech cannabis campuses in California.
Now company CEO Brad Termini hopes to expand that footprint in the city where he was born and raised: Buffalo.
"When I saw New York was opening its mind to the legalization of cannabis, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take the expertise we had developed in California and bring this exciting new industry and the jobs associated with it to Western New York," Termini.
Discussions about the campus began two years ago. Termini says the campus would center around production, cultivation and processing of cannabis products.
"Really think of this as a full cannabis factory that takes it from a seed all the way to a finished product on one campus," Termini said.
He says the $200 million campus is planned to be built at the former Hanna Furnace site in Buffalo, now known as Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park. But plan still needs to go before the Buffalo Planning Board.
"We'll be in front of the planning board at the end of this month, looking to get our phase 1 plan approved. The project will be built in phases," Termini said.
If approved, Termini says it will depend on what the regulations for cannabis will be, which the state is currently drafting. He says the plant would create 800 jobs.
"Jobs of all different pay grades,” Termini said. “I think that's really an exciting opportunity for Western New York.”
Termini doesn't expect any resistance from Western New Yorkers.
"Largely, people's minds are open to the benefits of the cannabis plant, the cannabis industry,” Termini said. “If you look at statewide polling, national polling, of what people's perspective are on cannabis, I think a super majority of Americans are ready to lift the veil on some of the stigmas that have existed for generations.”
Termini hopes to start construction on the cannabis campus early next year.