ITHACA, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A Binghamton businessman, who received 1 of 3 marijuana dispensary licenses awarded in the Southern Tier region, is making plans to open his store on the Ithaca Commons.
William Durham is President of William Jane, the name he selected for his cannabis business.
He won his license on the strength of having operated successful businesses in the past and having a prior conviction for marijuana possession.
The state’s Office of Cannabis Management has chosen 119 to 121 East State Street in Ithaca, along the Commons, for his storefront.
It was previously Trader K’s used clothing store and Holley’s before that and is downstairs from The Range bar.
Durham says despite the distance from Binghamton, he couldn’t be more pleased with the location.
“Being in a college town is going to be the greatest thing for me as far as having enough customers to actually sustain a business of this size. Looking at both schools, you’ve got Ithaca College, Cornell. Those two together I think will help out a lot as far as the type of business we’re doing here.”
Durham had an appointment with City of Ithaca officials to formally get their blessing and find out if the city has passed ordinances governing the sale of marijuana.
Although he has a background in construction, he says the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York will be responsible for the buildout.
According to Durham, it will be much more than just a cannabis shop.
“We’re looking into doing a lot of events. This place is actually known for a lot of events so we’ll fit right in. We like to have fun. So, we’re aiming toward that crowd. We’re going to do a lot events, get autograph signings, and things of that nature. Bring people from different places so that way they can have fun, get to see what Upstate New York is like.”
Durham says he’s not concerned with having to compete with illegal sticker shops and figures the state and local municipalities will eventually take steps to eradicate them.
He says he does potentially stand to benefit from litigation that has temporarily halted the awarding of licenses in 5 regions of the state.
If he opens before the lawsuit is resolved, he could have the closest legal dispensary to the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse markets.