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Robust cannabis sales on Native American land

“We’re loving the people that are coming in"
Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 18:44:47-04

SALAMANCA, NY (WKBW) — New York State still has not come up with plans for retail sales of cannabis. Adult-recreational cannabis is legal for people age 21 or older.

But the retail marijuana market is still on hold. However, sales of cannabis products are legal on Native American land.

7 News senior reporter Eileen Buckley visited two cannabis shops on Seneca Nation of Indians territory. The Seneca Nation allows for sales.

good leaf1 .jpg
Inside Good Leaf.

Marijuana dispensaries, like Good Leaf, are in the City of Salamanca, which is all part of the Seneca Nation territory.

Wednesday was marked a “4/20” day event, a date, and number, long linked to cannabis culture.

Devon Mosher of Jamestown stopped in the shop and we asked him what he purchased.

“Ah, some marijuana. It's going to take some time for everybody to get used to,” Mosher explained.

The shop is filled with all types of cannabis products from the type that is smoked to edible items, like candy and gum, but with child-proof packaging.

Outside The Joint.

“It’s a plant and people need to understand it's a plant and not classified like these other drugs,” Mosher noted.

Dispensaries are legally allowed if located on federally-recognized sovereign land and if the nation agrees to the sales.

At another nearby dispensary called The Joint, I learned the majority of its customers are older with health issues and chronic pain.

“For the folks that are coming in — it’s really interesting because you get the older couples that have problems and back pain,” remarked Tina Kennedy, owner.

Kennedy says she believes a majority of customers want to use a form of medical marijuana.

Tina Kennedy, owner, The Joint.

“What forms do they buy it in?” Buckley asked. “The older ones kind of like the edibles because it's harder for smoking and sometimes they'll vape and use the disposables because it helps them relax,” replied Kennedy.

Despite the stigma surrounding cannabis, I’ve been told that anyone from a CEO to a janitor will come to these shops for products.

“Sometimes you get people you never even think like the business professional in a suit and just like — 'what kind of flowers do you have',” Kennedy replied. “Even nurses, teachers."

Inside cannabis shop.

Both shops clearly state you must be 21-years and older to purchase any of the products. Good leaf uses an age verification door security control system.

Kennedy says it seems very weird to be talking openly about selling marijuana products, but at the same time it’s “amazing”.

“We’re loving the people that are coming in,” Kennedy noted.

But not all Nations allow sales of cannabis as we reported last week, the Tuscarora Nation does not permit sales of the product on its territory, but some members of that Nation are still selling it.