Adult-use marijuana market on tribal land to launch in New York

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The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe said it will become the first regulated adult-use marijuana market in New York when sales launch at three stores Friday.

A number of unlicensed stores on several reservations across the state, including the Saint Regis, already have been selling marijuana products in recent months, according to Politico and other media reports.

Some retailers reportedly say their operations were approved during traditional community meetings.

But the Saint Regis said its stores on tribal land near the Canadian border are part of a regulated system that includes product quality assurance and taxation.

“For the first time in New York State, adults will be able to legally purchase cannabis products from a tribally licensed dispensary,” Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance said in a news release.

The three licensed retail outlets are:

  • Budders Cannabis Store.
  • King Canna.
  • Weedway.

In addition to the three stores, two cultivators have been licensed by the tribe: Bank Side Flowering Co. and Lefty’s Cultivation, the release noted.

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“To make this happen, we have been working in consultation with tribal members to develop regulations that support the success of tribally licensed cannabis operations, but more importantly to ensure that the community benefits from the fees that fund tribal programs and services that impacts all community members,” LaFrance said.

Tribal licensing fees collected from the licensed cannabis operations will support educational scholarships, public safety, road maintenance, elder’s assistance, health care and community organizations – especially entities that have experienced a significant budget reduction because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.