Granville’s soon-to-be first cannabis dispensary is gaining support from local businesses on its journey to launching a retail operation in the former TD Bank building on Main Street.
With the intent of “revitalizing Granville’s downtown,” Granville native Chris Kostyun, who has more than 30 years of experience as a paramedic, and business partners Kelly and Rich Taylor of R.S. Taylor Brewing Company, physician’s assistant Wendy Berry and retiring paramedic Peter Berry are teaming up in the CBD and hemp business to bring “Land Craft Wellness” to the former bank building.
The shop hopes to open by June once it is granted a license.
6-10 Main Street LLC (the investors) closed on the building on June 25 for $100,000. The building was assessed at $390,000 last January.
In June 2020, the bank building was purchased at auction for $70,000 by Donard St. Jean’s Miami, Florida-based IT company, “Compu-Design USA,” but that buyer never moved in because of complications with Covid-19.
Kostyun said there will be an emphasis on the “importance of quality, plants, processing and manufacturing” for those who will enter the former bank building that Kostyun has memories of going to with his father for a car loan in his younger years.
The first floor of the building will be the retail area of CBD and hemp products while the 5,000-square-foot basement will serve as the cultivation space for growing the plants with varying functionalities and purposes.
Kostyun clarified that the group’s license is a microbusiness license designated for cultivation, processing and retail sales, not for on-site consumption. Consultants at multiple levels are providing guidance for the five investors.
With regulations at the state’s Office of Cannabis Management still being figured out, Kostyun said an official opening date has not been decided but the goal of bringing “foot traffic to Main Street” would ideally see plants being grown by June for a “successful cultivation year.”
The group of investors will use its “experiences, intuitions and similar processes in legalized states” as a blueprint while regulations are finalized, as the state Liquor Authority will be overseeing the Office of Cannabis Management.
“There’s a huge discussion in the industry whether the state will distribute temporary licenses or how they will proceed,” Kostyun said. “We will be ready the moment licenses are handed out.”
Kostyun added that he and his partners will have an “obligation” to the state, the community and law enforcement to prevent individuals under the age of 21 from purchasing cannabis products.
The Village of Granville opted into allowing cannabis dispensaries and on-site consumption establishments to operate within the village’s jurisdiction by taking no action on the state’s option to opt-out in December. The Town of Granville opted out last October.
“If there’s a stigma associated with it, I invite anyone to come in the door and have a conversation about it,” Kostyun said. “We’ll have the staff on hand and the products on hand to cover anybody’s needs.”
Granville Mayor Paul Labas said he is excited to see the village reap the benefits of a 3% sales tax on cannabis products, as well as see an empty building on Main Street occupied again.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do and the tax revenue is certainly going to help the village of Granville,” Labas said.
The conversations Kostyun and his business partners are having include those with Granville business owners in an attempt to garner support, connections and feedback for their initiative.
“We need to build community support,” Kostyun said. “Most of the businesses I spoke to on Main Street have been profoundly supportive, mainly because of the reciprocal business it will bring back to them.”
One of the businesses the group reached out to is Granville’s largest manufacturer, Telescope Casual Furniture Inc.
CEO Kathy Juckett and marketing manager Kait Warren were impressed by the Land Craft Wellness team’s preparation and vision for cannabis sales in Granville when the five-person group went to Telescope’s factory on Dec. 17.
“They are going to be an asset to our community because they are so well thought out,” Juckett said. “We left that meeting going, ‘wow! They really have it together.’”
Juckett said Land Craft Wellness’s white and green sign on their building will be made by Telescope out of marine-grade polymer when the time comes, ultimately buying into their vision of embracing the identity of a Granville business.
“They want to make the experience as comfortable and easy as possible,” Warren said. “It’s more geared around central wellness… they’re making it more of a holistic wellness built around CBD’s.”
Kostyun said he hopes two key characteristics that separate Land Craft Wellness from other dispensaries will be its consumer education and the control of the product from seed to sale.
“I really enjoy challenges,” Kostyun said. “I enjoy creating something that is meaningful to communities. That’s exciting.”