The Cayuga Nation recently won an appeal at the Appellate Division, Fourth Department regarding an illegal cannabis business that operates from a shed in a residential zone on Lake Road. The Cayuga Nation and two nearby non-native homeowners sued the Town of Seneca Falls and Carlin Seneca-John, the operator of the business, known as “Gramma Approved Sovereign Trades,” for violating the town’s zoning code.
The suit alleges that the Town of Seneca Falls has not enforced its own zoning code and that the business, which sells marijuana from a front lawn shed on a residential street, is illegal. Seneca-John, who is a Cayuga Nation citizen, is operating the business without the sanction of the Nation.
The Seneca County Supreme Court initially dismissed the case, finding that the Nation and local homeowners did not have the right to file the suit. However, the Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s decision unanimously.
Clint Halftown, the Nation’s federal representative, stated that the Nation enforces its own laws to regulate businesses on their reservation and expects municipalities to do the same. The Nation has also taken action against Seneca-John through their own court system, issuing a judgment against him for significant monetary penalties.
“Now that the Appellate Division has confirmed the suit must go forward in State Supreme Court, the Nation remains hopeful that the Town will take action to shutter this business and return peace to the residential area,” Halftown added.
This case highlights the need for clear enforcement of zoning laws and the importance of protecting residential areas from illegal businesses. The Cayuga Nation and local homeowners will continue to fight for justice and hope that the Town of Seneca Falls will take action to resolve this issue.
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