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Proposed Fredonia dispensary seen as unlikely

FREDONIA – Someone wants to put a cannabis dispensary in downtown Fredonia, but it’s probably not going to get approved by the state because it’s too close to Fredonia Central School District property.

Fredonia Trustee Jon Espersen reported that at a Board of Trustees meeting Monday. Espersen founded, and chairs, a cannabis advisory committee to help the village navigate the state’s legalization of the drug.

Espersen did not name the applicant, but told the OBSERVER newspaper the intended site is within 500 feet of the Orange Bowl, where Fredonia High School’s football team plays home games. That means, in his opinion, the state Office of Cannabis Management is highly unlikely to approve the dispensary.

The cannabis advisory committee will meet Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. in Village Hall, Espersen said Monday. He said “they will meet with a party that expressed an interest in opening a grower’s showcase in the village. I want to mention (the cannabis committee) meetings are open to the public.”

Espersen said, “We have 30 days to respond to the state and in our response, the cannabis advisory committee would like it to be stated that the location selected doesn’t meet state minimum distance requirements. If they waive that, they waive that, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

The state’s notification about the applicant came on Nov. 16.

Code Enforcement Officer Charles LaBarbera said, “if he went into a C district, it’s a mercantile business, it’s just like any other business — they’re all welcomed in the C district. But if the state has regulations they’re not following, it’s as simple as that.”

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