New York’s Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Tuesday officially launched its regulated cannabis industry, issuing three conditional cultivation licenses. The Tribe is the first in the state to issue licenses under its plan approved in June. The State of New York has yet to promulgate industry rules and regulations.
The Tribe awarded licenses for Tru Bloom, Bank Side Flowering Company, and First Americans, LLC. The Tribe said it has granted “provisional approval” to several other applicants, but they are not yet permitted to start cultivation in earnest; instead, they can begin facility construction, buy equipment, and hire employees.
Allyson Mitchell, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, said that “public health and safety are at the forefront” of all of the Tribe’s discussions around the industry. She added that the tribal cannabis businesses “will contribute fees that will be used to support community-based programs and services in the same manner that the tobacco and convenience store associations have been doing for decades.”
“Each of these businesses provided substantive applications and worked closely with our Cannabis Compliance Office to meet approval requirements. Conditional licenses allow for cultivation to begin, and a full license is pending facility inspection prior to any cannabis leaving the premises.” — Mitchell in a press release
Several unregulated retail dispensaries had commenced operations on the Saint Regis Mohawk’s Akwesasne land following the passage of the statewide legalization bill. Tribal leaders sent cease-and-desist letters to those operators and filed civil actions, but a Mohawk Tribal Court determined that the Tribe had failed to show that the owners of one dispensary, Good Leaf, were breaking the law.
The Tribe says they are the first in the nation to issue cannabis licenses to both tribal members and tribal-owned businesses. Retail licenses are expected to be issued early next year.
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