New York village sues marijuana stores affiliated with Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

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The New York village of Massena alleges in a lawsuit that two marijuana stores affiliated with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe are unlicensed by the state and violating local codes and zoning laws.

Massena filed suits against Famous A’s and THC Remedies, which village officials allege are operating without licenses from New York’s Office of Cannabis Management, according to Watertown TV station WWNY.

The lawsuits, filed in state Supreme Court in Canton, also allege that:

  • Neither business approached the local planning board to operate in the village, so both businesses are in violation of local law.
  • Both stores violated village codes, and THX Remedies broke zoning laws.

Both stores, owned by Saint Regis residents, are located on Center and Beach streets in Massena.

That location puts the stores in an area called the Massena Mile, which is involved in a land-claim dispute between Saint Regis officials who say it’s Akwesasne territory, WWNY reported.

However, “that land claim has no bearing on our thought process,” St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua told the TV station.

“As long as the courts tell us that this is the village of Massena, all businesses need to follow planning and code and zoning, and until a court tells us different, everyone’s going to be held to that same standard – regardless of any claims.”

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s territory in Akwesasne is about 19 miles from Massena.

As in other markets, including Arizona, Minnesota and Nevada, tribal nations in New York can establish marijuana  programs outside the scope and enforcement of state regulators.