Recreational marijuana use has been legal in the state of New York since April 1. There have been no legal marijuana shops opened in the state yet, but an upstate  New York Indian tribe is rushing to be the first in the state to get started.

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On April 1, anyone over the age of 21 could legally possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for recreational use.

There have been no legalized marijuana vendors in the State under the Cannabis Control Board or the Office of Cannabis Management and the 2021 summer legislative session ended in June.

The St. Regis Mohawks Tribe in upstate New York is working to legalize marijuana in their territory.  Native American Tribes can legally open marijuana shops without going through the New York cannabis authorities. Tribal communities can legally authorize marijuana sales on tribal territories with their own ordinances.

According to, St. Regis Mohawks have set the application process into motion to establish retail shops as well rules for growing and processing marijuana.  They intend to issue licenses to be entrepreneurs instead of running the businesses themselves.

Everything from planting, growing, harvesting, and processing marijuana must be approved by the tribal council.  Rules must also be established to determine who can purchase marijuana.  It’s not clear yet whether the buyers must be tribal members or not.

So the race is on to open the state's first legal marijuana shop but looks like the St. Regis Mohawk Nation will be the first to open up legal marijuana establishments in the State.

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