The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has scheduled a series of public meetings that give Tribal members an opportunity to voice their opinions on a draft ordinance governing medical marijuana on Tribal lands. The hearings come more than two years after Tribal voters approved the Tsiothórha/ referendum on December 3, 2016, which permitted the exploration of legalizing, licensing and regulating medical marijuana for cultivation, production and distribution.
Since the 347-197 Tribal member vote in favor of weighing the benefits of permitting medical marijuana, the Tribe’s Office of the General Counsel drafted a medical marijuana ordinance. Under the 2013 Tribal Procedures Act, Tribal members have a 30-day comment period to offer input and feedback on it. Meetings will take place on July 13, July 25 and August 10.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s potential entry into the medical marijuana industry takes place five years after the New York State Legislature passed the Compassionate Care Act legalizing the possession, manufacture, use, delivery, transport or administration of medical marijuana by a designated caregiver for a certified medical use.
In August 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidelines instructing federal prosecutors and law enforcement not to interfere with states who had legalized marijuana as long as certain requirements were met, including laws encompassing DUI, distribution to minors, crossing state lines to non-legalized states, drug trafficking and sales by gangs and cartels.