Shinnecock Indian Nation set to break ground on marijuana cultivation facility
The Shinnecock Indian Nation is planning to break ground on a marijuana cultivation facility on its Southampton reservation in the coming weeks.
Shinnecock leaders tell News 12 they are planning to build a 20,000-square-foot marijuana facility. The tribal chairman says they are working on regulations for licensing.
Recreational sales could start at the tribe's smoke shops on Montauk Highway this summer, but only after a vote by the entire tribe.
"If the tribe does proceed forward with recreational cannabis, we're also looking to have sales before year's end," says Bryan A. Polite, chairman of the Council of Trustees.
Leaders also say they are working with their own regulatory agency to adapt the tribe's medical cannabis laws for the production and sale of marijuana for adults.
"There should be medical cannabis sales by the end of the summer and absolutely before the end of the year," says Polite.
Tribal leadership say they hope the jobs and economic opportunities that marijuana sales will bring can also help people who they say have suffered for decades due to the unfair criminalization of the drug.
The Long Island Progressive Coalition released a statement saying, "We wholeheartedly support the Shinnecock Nation in all its endeavors to assert its economic sovereignty, including its plans to cultivate and sell recreational marijuana. The Shinnecock people, like all other marginalized communities, have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition policies and have also faced hundreds of years of violent settler colonization and land theft. They deserve to reap the benefits of this new industry, and no one should stand in their way."
The Shinnecock Indian Nation applauded the state's recent passing of adult-use cannabis laws.
Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman released a statement saying, "I expected that if recreational marijuana use ever became legal in NYS it would be available at the Shinnecock Indian reservation. So I am not at all surprised that they are moving quickly to take advantage of the new law."