JOHNSTOWN — There really is an Uncle Bud, but he’s not Karl Lakata’s uncle and he’s not in the same line of business.
Lakata recently opened a horticulture shop on North Market Street and borrowed the nickname of the guy who would rent out a hay wagon for a music festival Lakata’s friend organized.
“Bud” is also a nickname for marijuana, and that’s what Lakata expects a lot of customers to be interested in as they visit Uncle Bud’s Grow Shop.
Growing your own marijuana at home will soon be a legal option in New York, and he expects a large demand for it.
“I don’t think the market would be there without the new opportunity in New York state,” Lakata said. “It’s going to change the landscape of the state.”
The lifelong Johnstown resident holds a business degree from SUNY Oswego and is pursuing an MBA through SUNY Empire State College. He’s a recreational marijuana user, but it doesn’t define him or his new shop — he has other interests as well, and the equipment and supplies at Uncle Bud’s are also useful for growing things other than marijuana.
“The shop isn’t pigeonholed into only growing cannabis,” Lakata said. “I do a lot of outdoor gardening myself in the summer.”
New York’s marijuana reforms include a provision that will allow an adult to grow up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants, or up to six and six per household. However, the rules are not finalized and home cultivation is not legal yet in New…