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Cayuga Nation to sell cannabis, plans 15,000 square-foot cultivation facility

The Cayuga Nation has announced its plan to grow and sell cannabis starting this year.

The Nation can begin the sale of cannabis as soon as they have a supply as they are a sovereign nation not subject to local or state regulations. The venture is spearheaded by the Cayuga Nation’s federal representative Clint Halftown, according to Finger Lakes Times.

The Cayuga Nation is planning a 15,000 square-foot cultivation facility at Gakwiyo Gardens on their reservation in Seneca Falls at 191 Ovid Street. The Nation will be able to sell cannabis at the gas stations and convenience stores it owns and operates.

The Nation has hired Jake Brewer, former head grower at a Colorado-based cannabis company, to oversee their cannabis business’ development. Additionally, Bergmann, a Rochester-based architectural firm, will design and oversee the grow facility structure. The blueprints for the facility are currently being finalized to ensure it meets standards for security, safety, and quality.

The NYS Office of Cannabis Management’s spokesperson Freeman Klopott has stated that “dispensaries (marijuana shops) are legal if they are on federally recognized, sovereign tribal land,” meaning their operation is perfectly legal as the Cayuga Nation is not subject to local or state prohibitions on its reservation.

“As a sovereign nation, the Cayuga Nation can grow and sell cannabis within its reservation’s boundaries. Similar to the Nation’s other economic development initiatives, cannabis presents an opportunity to generate economic growth for the Nation and its members, while creating jobs for the community,” reads the official statement from the Cayuga Nation. “Developing our cannabis business is the next step in expanding and diversifying the Cayuga Nation’s economic opportunities and providing long-lasting benefits to the community. Our vision for the future of the Cayuga Nation remains focused on bettering the lives of our members, our community, and our neighbors. As we venture forward in our economic development, we remain committed to working closely with local governments to ensure the health and safety of our community.”

The Nation plans to continue building and renovation efforts throughout 2022, and will likely opening their grow facility by the end of the year.