Future hemp production facility in Town of Tonawanda clears massive hurdle

Posted at 8:26 AM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 08:31:49-04

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Plans to dry, press and extract CBD oil for commercial purposes at a building that has been vacant for over a decade in the Town of Tonawanda passed a major hurdle after the Town board approved the special use permit to operate the space.

This will be done by Sunbeam Laboratories LLC, which is a company that already produces CBD oil from their plant in Lockport.

The business buys hemp from NYS farmers, including ones in Erie and Niagara counties, it then dries, presses and extracts CBD oil for commercial purposes. It also tests farmer's hemp to ensure THC levels are below all federal and state limits. The company currently employs 32 employees at their Lockport site, but would move all operations to the Town of Tonawanda. Sunbeam says they went door-to-door to talk to neighbors about the business, which they say led to zero opposition on the project.

"We were forthcoming, spoke to neighbors, and said we are not producing pot." Christopher Casacci of Sunbeam Laboratories said during Mondays meeting, "I think no one came to oppose because we are bringing jobs, and improving a building that's been in bad shape for over a decade."

The company would look to expand their employees as well, hoping to increase to more than 100 if the move to the 50K square foot facility goes through.

"We have a great many people with no GED, hard working, want a stable job that pays well, comfy atmosphere, come to work and support their family."

The next step for the project is to get final approval from the planning board. They hope to open by 2020.