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Great New York State Cannabis Showcase opens down the road from state fair

Abigail Connolly

State Fair goers can now hop on a “canna-bus” that will take them from the fairgrounds to the Great New York State Cannabis Growers Showcase just a half-mile down the road.

The showcase, which is running on the same 13-day schedule as the state fair, features 12 cannabis vendors, food trucks and a variety of cannabis workshops aimed at educating about the state’s cannabis industry.

Mike Flynn, owner of Flynnstoned, the first licensed cannabis dispensary in central New York, said the showcase came together pretty quickly as government approvals came in just days ahead of the event.

“It took a lot of hard work, a lot of people came together to make this happen quickly,” Flynn said. “We just got all the approvals days ago. We were running dusk till dawn, even through the night getting this project ready.”

Hosted on his property on State Fair Boulevard, Flynn has high hopes for the future of the cannabis industry in the state and said this event is an exciting way to educate and interact with the public.

“There’s a lot of people that don't even know that it’s even legal right now,” Flynn said. “I am just really looking forward to educating the public on cannabis and maybe giving them their first cannabis experience, or giving the seasoned people a good cannabis experience.”

Joann Kudrewicz, CEO of Ravens View Genetics, said the event is important because of a recent court injunction barring state regulators from approving conditional dispensary licenses which has put the cannabis industry in New York on hold. Kudrewicz said this showcase will help growers cut down on some of their inventory.

“There are so many farmers, so many of us cultivators who have no place to sell our products,” Kudrewicz said. “It’s difficult to get on the shelves when we have so much product and not enough places to sell it. These cannabis showcases are a real gift and a blessing.”

For some cultivators, this showcase is the first opportunity to interact directly with consumers. Mary Kruger from Flowr City, a cannabis cultivation collective from the Rochester area, said it’s exciting to be a part of something as big as this.

“This is the first cannabis growers showcase that we are participating in,” Kruger said. “We’re super excited that it is a part of the state fair, we are looking forward to seeing people come out.”

Cannabis sales are not currently allowed inside the state fair, but for Kudrewicz getting there is the ultimate goal. She said having the state’s support on the showcase is just one step closer to breaking down the barriers that keep the cannabis industry from growing.

“Really if we want to shatter the walls that keep cannabis stigmatized, that’s the way to do it, is to be at those state sanctioned events with the governor’s support,” Kudrewicz said.

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Abigail Connolly