Story by Don Cazentre, on Syracuse.com
Ayrloom is the brand name for marijuana-infused beverages, edibles (like gummies), and vape products that will be produced by a company called Gen V Labs in LaFayette.
Never heard of Gen V Labs, either?
It’s a new company that is wholly owned by the family that also operates Beak & Skiff, the largest and best-known apple orchard in Central New York.
Gen V, with its background and resources, is likely to start out of the gate as one of the largest and most recognizable marijuana businesses in Central New York.
Beak & Skiff president Eddie Brennan likes to say “innovation is in our DNA.” The company, which has already moved into alcoholic beverages and hemp-based CBD production, is now poised to go big in the newly legal marijuana industry.
Brennan believes marijuana legalization, and the state’s forthcoming roll-out of legal marijuana sales offers the next big opportunity for growing the family business.
“I think there’s a big potential, especially in beverages,” said Brennan, a member of the fifth generation (Gen V) of Beak and Skiff family descendants. “The current generation is ready for this. What it’s going to take is capital and patience.”
As the owners of a successful business, the Gen V family has some capital to use.
They are, for example, now building a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing and packaging facility for the new Ayrloom products on a part of their sprawling orchard properties at and around the intersection of Routes 20 and 80 in the hills south of Syracuse. That facility is also expected to make marijuana products under contract for other companies.
But patience is needed because, while New York legalized the possession of recreational marijuana in April 2021, the roll-out of the legal industry is taking much longer.
The Gen V owners are among just a handful of entrepreneurs across the state who have already received licenses both to grow marijuana (as Gen V Grow LLC) and process it into usable consumer products (as Gen V Labs LLC).
But the marijuana businesses are waiting for the state to license the first retail outlets, called dispensaries, to sell those products. The first of those may open later this year, but most may not start until some time in 2023.
Gen V does not plan to have its own retail outlet, instead offering products to licensed shops.
‘The only way that cash changes hands is by selling the stuff to the dispensaries,” Brennan said. “To keep delaying the opening of the dispensaries would be a crime.”