Marijuana Dispensaries Near Me? NY Retail Pot Sales May Start in 2022 – NBC New York

What to Know

  • Although federal law still prohibits marijuana, New York and 17 other States have legalized recreational marijuana.
  • Officials in the state believe that sales could begin as soon as the year ends. The entire adult-use market regulations are expected to be finalized this summer.
  • Like other tribes in Michigan, the Mohawks set their own regulations. New York officials state that dispensaries can be legal if they are on federally-recognized, sovereign tribal land
  • New York moves closer to launching retail marijuana marketSales of edibles and buds are already flourishing in some Native American areas of the state.

    The main road runs through the U.S. side Mohawk territory that straddles the Canadian border. There are shops everywhere. The Cayuga Nation sells marijuana at two stores in the Finger Lakes. Seneca territory has seen more Native Americans open stores in western New York.

    Many of these shops are located far from major cities and there is an internal dispute about the legality of around a dozen operations on St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. However, the sales demonstrate how Native Americans were able access an anticipated multibillion-dollar statewide marketplace. Native Americans see it as an expression of sovereignty and a way they can bring much-needed economic activity back to their territory.

    “I think this is a relief valve for our visitors, our friends, our families,”William Roger Jock is a partner in Good Leaf Dispensary, which operates on the Akwesasne land that the Mohawks call Akwesasne. “We have been stepped on for so long and to have something like this happen, it’s almost liberating.”

    On a recent afternoon, Jock stood at Good Leaf’s counter as customers viewed glass jars of Master Kush or Bubblehead. He called products “100% Native.”

    New York legalized adult recreational cannabis a year ago. However, it is still months away from retail sales in the state.

    Officials from the state say that initial sales could start by the end of this year under a program that provides licenses for people convicted of marijuana-related offenses. The entire adult-use market will be regulated by the end of this summer.

    The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council on the American side, Akwesasne adopted an ordinance for adult-use marijuana last June. This allows tribal members to get business licenses. The council stated in a prepared statement: “there is a short window of time for tribally-licensed cannabis businesses to open ahead of other areas in New York state.”

    However, shops opened last year in the absence of tribal licenses. Jock and others claim that their operations are approved and monitored by the longhouse, an institution of traditional communities, politics, and spirituality.

    On the reservation’s main road, there are now marijuana shops next to other stores selling low-cost cigarettes. These new businesses are attracting customers like Nick Brooks who recently bought gummies after returning from a trip in Home Depot.

    “It’s been in my head for two months, ‘Where can I get gummies?’ And I didn’t know where to go, but we just passed by,”He said.

    Last year, the tribal government tried unsuccessfully to close seven dispensaries that they claimed were opened illegally. They issued cease and desist orders against six other operations this month, though some of the stores appeared to have remained open this week.

    Separate regulations apply to dispensaries located on the Canadian side.

    While marijuana is still illegal at the federal government, New York and 17 other States have legalized recreational marijuana. Like other tribes in Michigan, the Mohawks set their own regulations. New York officials state that dispensaries can be legal if they are on federally-recognized, sovereign tribal land.

    “It is legal in the same way that it is legal in states,”Heather Trela, a Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, is a marijuana policy expert. “It’s still federally, obviously, illegal and they do have to make sure not to run amok of federal regulators.”

    It’s not clear how many Native American cannabis operations have opened statewide or how they source their product. The overwhelming majority of operators refused to answer questions from The Associated Press.

    It is clear that there are more in the future.

    A new, sparkling look “superstore” called Budders is on track to open along the Mohawk reservation’s main strip in mid-April — with a tribal license. CEO Ryan White seemed unfazed by the existing competition, saying the store’s size and selection of regulated, locally grown products will help give them a long-term advantage.

    “We know that there’s a big market for cannabis,”White stated. “We see people as far as 50 miles away coming in. They come in for gas and for tobacco products, and we’re going to be targeting them too.”

    The Cayuga nation, which sells marijuana in two of its stores in Finger Lakes, is planning to open a cultivation plant before the year ends. The cannabis business “is the next step in expanding and diversifying the Cayuga Nation’s economic opportunities,”They made the statement in a prepared statement.

    Near the eastern tip of Long Island is the Shinnecock Indian Nation. They are working with two outside firms to build a cultivation facility. Phoenix-based TILT Holdings, which is located about 70 miles (113 km) east of New York City, will provide management services. They also offer up to $18,000,000 for the operation.

    Already approved for sales of medical marijuana, the tribe’s cannabis business, Little Beach Harvest, will seek a recreational sales license from tribal regulators.

    Chenae Bullock, a nation member and managing director of Little Beach Harvest, said the operation will provide needed revenue and jobs for people on the territory — many of whom live in poverty in an area synonymous with wealth.

    “The ultimate goal is to sustain the people who have been oppressed for 400 years,”She said.

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