He’s a big fan of cannabis; he hopes to turn Armory Square building into Syracuse’s first pot dispensary
Syracuse, NY – New York is not yet allowing people to sell marijuana in the state, but local businessman and self-described cannabis fan Mike Flynn is already making plans to open a dispensary in Syracuse’s Armory Square.
Flynn bought 219 Walton St., the former home of an Urban Outfitters store, on July 29 for $2 million and said he plans to apply for a license to operate a marijuana dispensary once the state begins taking applications. accept.
He takes a gamble. The state has not yet established the rules and regulations under which marijuana dispensaries will operate. However, he said he expects the state to have those things in place early next year.
“I hope to be the first, the biggest and the best,” he said. “We will have the largest workforce, the most square footage and the most product.”
He even has a name for the shop: Flynnstoned Cannabis Co.
If the state objects to the name out of concern it could promote excessive smoking of the weed, he said, it will simply drop the letter “d” from the name, making it just Flynnstone (not to be confused with the animated TV -sitcom The Flints.)
He is the first to publicly propose a marijuana dispensary in Syracuse.
Flynn, 39, worked as a line chef for several years after attending West Genesee High School. In 2005 he founded a residential roofing company, The Roofing Guys, in Geddes and remains the owner.
He said he has been a “cannabis lover” since he was a teenager and sees a business opportunity to sell the product.
“Cannabis has always been a passion of mine,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for it to finally be legalized in New York.”
Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and use up to 3 ounces of marijuana for recreational purposes. That’s enough for about 50 joints.
Tax collections from the “Cannabis/marijuana regulation and tax laware expected to reach $350 million a year and create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs in the state, according to the governor’s office.
However, the law leaves it to a newly created entity, the Office of Cannabis Management, to develop a regulatory framework for licensing growers and sellers. It is unclear when the agency will complete its task, as the five-member board has not even been appointed yet.
This means that while it is legal to possess and use a limited amount of marijuana in New York, it is still not legal to grow or sell it in the state.
Local municipalities have the option to ban marijuana stores within their borders, and some have already done so. But Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh has said he has no plans to ask the City Council to block the opening of pharmacies in the city.
Flynn said he has spoken with Walsh and members of the council and hopes they will support his plans.
When asked for comment, Walsh spokesperson Greg Loh issued a statement:
“The developer spoke to Mayor Walsh and representatives from the Neighborhood and Business Development Department to inform the city of its plans. The city is awaiting advice from New York State on retail cannabis sales and an application to assess the proposed project.”
Flynn said he expects the state to license growers first and sellers second. He said he hopes to open his store in September 2022.
“As soon as I can, I’ll open those doors,” he said.
While he knows he has no guarantee that he will get a dispensation permit, he said he believes he has an advantage over other applicants.
“Having an establishment is the first thing I have, and I have,” Flynn said. “And I have the money for it.”
He said his funding comes from the profits of his roofing business, which employs 45 people.
Flynn said the cannabis store would employ 35 to 40 people full-time, with 20 sales representatives (known as “budtenders”) and the rest being receptionists, management and security personnel.
The store would occupy all three floors of the 13,000-square-foot building and, in addition to marijuana, would sell merchandise such as tissue papers, CBD oil and T-shirts, hats and coffee mugs with the store’s name on them.
The building, which helps anchor the western end of the plaza, has been vacant since Urban Outfitters moved its clothing store to the Destiny USA mall in 2019.
“This is a great location,” Flynn said. “A lot of people come here for the shops and restaurants.”
The building will not be completely empty until he can open his pharmacy. Flynn said he plans to rent it out to a pop-up arts and crafts store from November to December.
Jonathan LaSala of Acropolis Realty Group represented Flynn in the purchase of the building. Andrea Bucci of the same company represented the seller, Armory Boys II LLC.
Cuomo Signs New York Marijuana Law: It’s Now Legal for Adults to Own It
The Details in New York’s Marijuana Law
3 more CNY communities opt out of retail marijuana sales
Editor’s Note: NY Cannabis Insider will host a half-day business and networking conference on Thursday, October 28, featuring some of the state’s most prominent industry leaders. Find details here.