The month of December marks a historic era in the tribal regulated cannabis industry after several years of effort to launch a regulated cannabis market in Akwesasne, under the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. The first of three Conditional Cultivation Licenses have been issued to local entrepreneurs, each of whom has demonstrated a commitment to the Tribe’s Adult-Use Cannabis Ordinance, adopted by Tribal Council on June 25, 2021, the first in the country that licenses tribal members and tribal member-owned businesses.
Tribal Council recognized a short window of time for tribally-licensed cannabis businesses to open - and an opportunity for the Tribe to provide a path, and laws, for local entrepreneurs to enter into the regulated cannabis market, provide employment for tribal members, and equally as important, a testing facility that protects the integrity of the products sold. They shared: “We acknowledge the effort, and the personal investments of the entrepreneurs behind the business ventures that received Conditional Cultivation Licenses - Tru Bloom, owned by Vance Thompson, Bank Side Flowering Company, owned by Noah Mitchell, and First Americans, LLC, owned by Rick Hamelin. Each of these enterprises has committed to robust guidelines that ensures the public health and safety of our community, and a commitment to follow Tribal law - we extend our best as they launch their cannabis enterprises.”
“Public health and safety are at the forefront of all of our discussions. Both adult-use and medicinal cannabis are now regulated, tested, and legal enterprises for our licensed businesses,” stated Allyson Mitchell, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “Each of these businesses provided substantive applications and worked closely with our Cannabis Compliance Office to meet approval requirements.”
Provisional approval, which does not allow for cultivation to begin, has been granted to several other applicants. Granting the provisional approval will allow the companies to begin construction, buy equipment, hire employees, and begin growing, but they will not be able to sell to retailers until their completed facilities and operations are inspected and the CCB finds they are consistent with the companies’ applications. The Cannabis Compliance Office is currently processing retail applications and anticipates issuing licenses in early 2022.
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Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe