Marijuana ‘superstore’ awaits first harvest

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 5:17 PM EST
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AKWESASNE, New York (WWNY) - The first marijuana crop is in the ground at Akwesasne and the first harvest will be the key to opening tribally-licensed pot shops there.

That first harvest can’t come soon enough for Budders. Construction finishes up soon on what it calls the marijuana “superstore.” But to open, the business needs that first shipment from its grow house.

“What we want to grow are the most high quality buds, THC focused, but also focused on other cannabinoids,” said Ryan White, Budders CEO and manager.

Budders’ grow operation is Bank Side Flowering Company. White says it’s the first tribally-licensed one with a crop in the ground. Under Mohawk St. Regis Tribe regulations, licensed retail shops must get their supply from licensed growers within Akwasasne.

“That’s been the dream from the beginning is to grow it locally, more jobs, the product we know where it’s coming from,” said White.

Bank Side Flower is somewhere off McGee Road. Owners say they don’t want to show it off until the first harvest in April. Another tribally-licensed grow operation is First Americans LLC. It wants to build a grow house adjacent to the Boys & Girls Club.

Construction could be complete by summer’s end.

There are already pot shops operating all along State Route 37. They’re not licensed by the tribe. They don’t say exactly where they get their pot. White thinks licensed shops will have a big advantage once they open.

“The exciting stuff is the long-term sustainability for us … We wanted to go big or go home. And that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.

The First Americans project on Rooseveltown Road is under environmental review. The public can submit comments to the tribe’s Environment Division until February 13.

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