The Saint Regis Tribe, based in upstate New York near the Canadian border, officially inaugurated its regulated cannabis industry on Tuesday, issuing three conditional cultivation licenses. The Tribe is the first to issue licenses under its plan approved in June. The State of New York has yet to publicize industry rules and regulations.
It began rolling out its own tribally run recreational cannabis industry by awarding three cultivation permits.
WWTI TV-50 station, New York, mentioned that the licenses were issued to Tru Bloom, owned by Vance Thompson, Bank Side Flowering Co., owned by Noah Mitchell, and First Americans, owned by Rick Hamelin. This move puts the tribe on the path to being the first adult-use marijuana retailer in the state.
The Tribe said it had 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.
Two years ago, the Saint Regis Tribe had started implementing adult-use industry rules, which were formally legalized in July and started collecting license applications in September.
Application for tribal license by the company was after the terms and conditions were agreed to be followed, which was approved in June. Nevada-based multistate operator Audacious said it had signed a letter of intent with First Americans LLC of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to create a partnership that will start up cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and retail operations on tribal lands.
Spirited CEO Terry Booth was seen to have said in a news release that “This deal facilitates adult usage sales in New York State,”
WWTI reported that the state Cannabis Compliance Office said that it was assessing retail applications and expects to award those permits in “early 2022,”
With the recent spotlight on Tribe’s landmark achievement, the chair of the cannabis Control Board, Allyson Mitchell, asserted that “public health and safety are at the limelight” of all the Tribe’s discussion around the industry. In addition, she stated that the tribal programs and services “will contribute fees that will be used to assist community-based programs and services in the same sort that the tobacco and convenience store association have been doing for decades.”
In another press release by Mitchell- she mentioned that each of these businesses provided substantial 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 before any cannabis leaving the premises. One of the three cultivation licensed winners, Hamelin, said that “teaming up with the Audacious team brings crucial experience in the cannabis industry that we believe will provide us with very significant competitive advantages in this market.
Road to Saint Regis Tribe Issuing License
The Saint Regis Tribe continues to make positive strides in establishing a legal cannabis industry under the Tribe’s jurisdiction. The applications for the Tribal Cannabis Cultivation Licenses were made available to the interested public on Friday, July 16th.
In adherence to federal requirements concerning cannabis products, the Tribe had to wait until New York State legalized adult use of cannabis before adopting the tribal law, which occurred on March 31, 2021. Ever since, a series of public meetings have been held to discuss and engage with community members before the Adult Use Cannabis Ordinance being formally passed on June 28, 2021.
This Adult Use Cannabis Ordinance represents the first adult-use cannabis law adopted by a tribe in New York State and was the first in the country that licenses tribal member-owned businesses. Unlike other tribal territories, the Saint Regis Tribe’s ordinance contributes eligible tribal member entrepreneurs intending to help develop the cannabis industry. Tribal members interested in applying for cultivation, processing, or retail cannabis license can still submit an Adult-Use Cannabis Business Pre-Clearance Form to the Compliance Department.
Cannabis Law in New York
As of March 31, 2021, adults 21 and older can possess up to three ounces of cannabis for personal use in New York legally. Only with a few exceptions, adults may smoke or vape cannabis wherever smoking tobacco is allowed under the smoke-free air laws.
Cannabis use is prohibited in motor vehicles (even if they are parked) or in outdoor dining areas at restaurants. Summons and fines (penalties) may result from smoking and vaping in prohibited areas. Laws still stand against people younger than 21 years old to possess, sell or use any amount of cannabis. Also, no one may legally have more than three ounces of cannabis, sell any amount without a license, or drive while under the influence or impaired by cannabis. After legal sales commence (in late 2022 at the soonest):
Adults will be permitted to amass up to five pounds of cannabis in their homes.
Adults will be permitted to grow three cannabis plants at home. More than one adult in homes will be allowed to grow six plants (three mature and three immature plants).
On-site consumption areas in cities and towns where individuals can use cannabis may be made available
Medicinal Cannabis In New York
Medical cannabis is obtainable to persons who have a certification for specific medical conditions from notably licensed medical care providers. The new law extends the suitability of medical cannabis, increases the number of caregivers allowed per patient, will enable prescriptions for as much as 60 days and permits smokable cannabis to be bought in medical marijuana dispensaries.
This recent license insurance has paved the way for the appropriate cultivation and subsequent dissemination of cannabis through the state of New York. Also, it gives prospective tribe members and interested industries the optimism of impacting the cannabis industry with this development. The This is a landmark achievement and will hopefully be followed by better policies.
The Tribal Council followed the advice stipulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who continues to advise state and tribal governments to adopt robust regulations that conform to federal guidelines. Other tribes within New York will follow the blueprint laid down by Saint Regis Tribe once they are ready to issues operating licenses.