AKWESASNE (WWTI) — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has made history on its regulated cannabis market.

The Tribe announced on Tuesday that it has officially launched a regulated cannabis industry in Akwesasne. According to Tribal officials, the first of three Conditional Cultivation Licenses have been issued to local entrepreneurs.

These licenses were issued to Tru Bloom, owned by Vance Thompson; Bank Side Flowering Company, owned by Noah Mitchell; and First Americans, LLC, owned by Rick Hamelin. The Tribe confirmed that each company has committed to strict public health and legal guidelines.

“Public health and safety are at the forefront of all of our discussions. Cannabis and its use for adult recreation and medicine is now a regulated, tested and legal enterprise for our licensed businesses,”
Cannabis Control Board Chair Allyson Mitchell stated in a press release. “Each of these businesses provided substantive applications and worked closely with our Cannabis Compliance Office to meet approval

These companies were permitted to enter the Tribe’s regulated industry after each entrepreneur agreed to the Tribe’s Adult Use Marijuana Ordinance, which was adopted by the Tribal Council on June 25, 2021. This made the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe the first in the country to license tribal members and tribal member-owned businesses.

The Tribal Council then worked with companies to provide a path, laws, employment for tribal members and a testing facility for products set to be sold.

This was all following the Legalization and decriminalization in New York State that took effect on March 31, 2021.

The SRMT added that provisional approval has been granted for several other applicants. This approval allows the companies to begin construction, buy equipment, hire employees and begin growing. They are restricted from selling to retailers until their completed facilities are inspected.

The Cannabis Compliance Office confirmed that it is currently processing retail applications and anticipates issuing licenses in early 2022.