A post office on the East Side is in line to be transformed into a high-tech hemp processing plant.
Sound Wellness will invest $5 million to create a lab that will make "advanced product formulations" of CBD, the company said. It will produce different types of quality controlled kosher, halal, gluten-free and vegan hemp-based extracts and products.
Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, medical director at Dent Neurologic Institute and chief of neuro-oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, will develop a line of products under the brand name MEND that is meant to be more affordable than current CBD options.
The line will initially be sold at a discount to patients at Dent Neurologic Institute's Cannabis clinic in Amherst. That will address what Mechtler called a "major obstacle" for his current patients, which is the high cost and unreliable quality of CBD.
It has already purchased hemp from producers on a list of approved New York State growers and is talking to farmers to bring in another 500,000 pounds. It has also teamed up with Plant Sciences Laboratories, a food dehydrating facility with operations on Wyoming Avenue.
The facility, at 55 Monsignor Valente Drive, is southeast of the Central Terminal, near William Street and Bailey Avenue. Sound Wellness' processing license has already been approved as part of the State Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research program, administered by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The company expects to create from 30 to 65 jobs.
Sound Wellness is a subsidiary of Jushi Inc., a Florida-based private holding of Cannabis Growth Opportunity Corporation, a cannabis focused investment corporation. Cannabis Growth is headquartered in Toronto.
Jushi is working with Zaepfel Development to lease half of the 50,000-square-foot building and possibly expand into the rest later. It will likely also lease office space near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.