New York’s First Marijuana Retail License Applications Are Now Being Accepted By An Indian Tribe

The first recreational marijuana retailers in New York will likely be located on Indian territory, with one tribe officially opening applications for prospective licensees on Monday.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe stands to beat non-Indian competitors to the market by about a year. Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an adult-use legalization bill into law in March, but state regulators are still being appointed and sales aren’t expected to launch until 2022.

In an announcement on Friday, the tribe noted that it had passed an ordinance in June approving recreational cannabis legalization and establishing its own regulations. Adults 21 and older are now permitted to grow up to 12 plants for personal use, and the ordinance set up a licensing process for marijuana businesses.

Members of the tribe separately approved a resolution in 2019 expressing majority support for adult-use legalization , as well as another proposal to establish a medical cannabis program in the territory. “Unlike other tribal territories, the Tribe’s Adult Use Cannabis Ordinance provides eligible tribal members with the opportunity to help develop this new industry for the benefit of the community,” Tribal Chief Michael Conners said . “Tribal licensing builds upon our business community’s history of keeping revenue in Akwesasne to support community programs and services.”

Applications will be processed relatively quickly, with the tribe telling applicants who have already submitted a pre-clearance form that they will receive a status update within two weeks of submission. It’s unclear when the first retails sales will launch.

“We continue to take […]

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