The Shinnecock Indian Nation plans to build and open this year a recreational and medical marijuana retail and cultivation facility on the tribe’s reservation in Southampton, tribal leaders say.
Little Beach Harvest, a tribally licensed medical cannabis business, is constructing a full cultivation and processing facility, along with a modern dispensary including a drive through and an adjacent lounge, which are all slated to open in late 2021, the tribe said.
“We are very excited about resuming construction in the next few weeks for Little Beach Harvest,” said Chenae Bullock, managing director of the dispensary.
The development came a week after New York State became the 15th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana for adults older than 21 on March 31. The 15 East End towns and villages have until December 31 to decide whether or not to opt out of allowing legal pot shops in their communities.
Leaders in the Town of Southampton, where the reservation is located, acknowledged that the tribe is exempt from any potential opt-out legislation, since the Shinnecock is sovereign.
“I’m not surprised,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman told Dan’s Papers. “I was told in the past that if recreational marijuana ever became legal in NY, the reservation would make it available for sale. As the town board debates the question of opting out of the sale of marijuana, it needs to consider that opting out will not prohibit the sale on the reservation, but it will deprive the town of any sales tax associated with the sale.”
The tribe is coordinating with its Cannabis Regulatory Division, Little Beach Harvest’s owners, and Chicago-based Native American marijuana business advisors Conor Green Consulting LLC on adaptation of the tribe’s medical cannabis laws for production and sale of adult-use recreational cannabis.
The tribe authorized Little Beach Harvest to sell medical marijuana in 2016, two years after New York legalized cannabis for medicinal use. The development also comes after the tribe recently announced plans to build a casino on its reservation.
“Shinnecock is proud to be taking part in this burgeoning industry,” the Shinnecock Council of Trustees said in a statement Tuesday. “The jobs and economic opportunity cannabis brings to our nation and people will change lives for generations to come.”
Little Beach Harvest posted this video of architectural renderings of the cannabis lounge on its website: