Native Americans Are Operating New York State’s First Legal Cannabis Dispensaries – Thrillist

New Yorkers craving some (legal) cannabis flower or THC gummies won’t need to exit New York State to find them. In fact, Native Americans are already operating some of the state’s first legal cannabis retail stores on tribal lands.

Following regulations enforced by their tribal governments, Native American entrepreneurs have successfully opened cannabis dispensaries upstate, NBC New York reports. As long as the dispensaries are located on federally recognized, sovereign tribal land, they are considered legal according to New York officials and do not have to be licensed by the state. Cannabis remains illegal under federal law, although 18 states and Washington DC have now legalized recreational sales.

Although New York legalized recreational cannabis over a year ago, finalized regulations have yet to be announced. They’re expected to come this summer as part of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which would finally allow legal dispensaries to open in New York City and other major cities. Officials recently announced that the first state licenses will go to people with prior cannabis convictions or members of their family. 

The new legal cannabis shops are quickly expanding on Native American land. At the border with Canada, the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation already

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