NEWARK, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Cannabis Control Board approved 52 adult-use cannabis cultivator licenses across the state Thursday.

These are the first ones granted in New York, with some right here in our region.

Honest Pharm Co. in Wayne County is one of the places now starting to grow and get ready.

“Now it’s really just off to the races,” says Jeremy Jimenez with Honest Pharm Co. He says being selected as one of the 52 licenses across New York state is beyond exciting. 

“We’re very fortunate to get a license. It was what? 52 out of the 150 applications?” Jimenez said.

Jimenez feels their already solid reputation for CBD products was a big factor and their potential for boosting the economy in Wayne County.

“Right off rip, we’re definitely going to be hiring way more people. The trimmers that are going to be involved, the people taking care of the plants, the testing, even compliance,” says President and Founder Jon Callahan.

They have eight employees now but expect them to add dozens in the weeks ahead. The Newark Mayor called to congratulate the pair, delighted about the added prospects.

“He’s excited about the job opportunities and the tax revenue…” Jimenez said.

Jimenez says their entire facility is half a million square feet. They can only grow on 25,000 square feet, but both men expect that to open to more capacity as demand for cannabis grows.

Callahan says marijuana will change the economy here, and change lives.

“And what really touches me is the people who are on all these pain killers or opioids, and they turn to marijuana or CBD products and they get off of those medications,” he said.

And the next step? “Get seed into the ground. That’s what we’re going to do,” Ji Jimenez said.

It’s going to be a while before Honest Pharm Co will be selling products to dispensaries in the region, the harvest is expected in the next six to seven months.

The Governor’s office said today the approved licenses are from a pool of more than 150 that have been submitted to the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) following the March 15 opening of the online application portal. The OCM will continue to review applications on a rolling basis and will work to get them to the Board for approval as quickly as possible. A list of the licenses approved today is available here.