New York Tribes Making Post-Legalization Plans

At least two New York Native American tribes — the Shinnecock Indian Nation and the Saint Regis Mohawks — are eyeing the state’s cannabis industry now that adult-use reforms have been approved.

Full story after the jump.

At least two New York Native American tribes are looking to get into the state’s cannabis industry following the legislature-approved reforms last month, Syracuse.com reports. Other New York-based Native American Nations have not released statements on their post-legalization plans.

Long Island’s Shinnecock Indian Nation plans to break ground on a cannabis facility in the next few weeks – with hopes of rolling out sales later this year – while the Saint Regis Mohawks are considering an ordinance to allow sales on its territory in Franklin County.

New York government officials have indicated they do not anticipate sales until next year.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe recently sent cease and desist orders to unlicensed and unregulated cannabis dispensaries operating in its jurisdiction, the Plattsburgh Press-Republican reports. Until the tribe approves an ordinance, cannabis sales remain a violation of tribal law, the Nation said in a statement. Officials also urged residents “to refrain from purchasing any goods from these unregulated establishments for their own safety.”

Other New York tribes have not yet indicated their plans following broad legalization in the state. Central New York’s Oneida Indian Nation Vice President for Communications, Joel Barkin, told Syracuse.com that the tribe is “studying the idea.”

The Seneca Nation of Indians President Rickey Armstrong Sr. told Buffalo’s WKBW in 2019 that the tribe is “like a snake ready to strike” on legal cannabis opportunities and that the Tribal Council would “pull the trigger whenever they feel appropriate.” The Seneca Nation is based in Western New York.

In all, there are eight federally recognized tribes in the state.

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