New York Tribes and Marijuana

Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded all Justice Department marijuana policies from the Obama-era on Jan 4, 2018. Change is coming and the following information will be updated as it happens.

The U.S. Justice Department issued a policy in 2014 regarding marijuana on tribal lands. It allows federally-recognized tribes in states with legalized marijuana to decide their own policies and self-regulate the growing and sales of marijuana on their reservations.

Medical Cannabis is Legal in New York

New York legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes in 2014. Recreational use remains illegal. Possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana was decriminalized in 1977 to a $100 fine.

New York's Federally-Recognized Tribes

There are eight federally-recognized tribes in New York. The DOJ marijuana policy on tribal reservations applies to these New York tribes. Each is federally recognized as sovereign by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Interior Department.

Cayuga Nation
Oneida Nation of New York
Onondaga Nation
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
Seneca Nation of Indians
Shinnecock Indian Nation
Tonawanda Band of Seneca
Tuscarora Nation

For a complete list of New York tribes and their locations, see our page about New York Tribes.

Cannabis Opportunities for New York Tribes

New York tribes recognize the challenges and business opportunities of the cannabis industry, and most have not announced their interests or business plans.

Shinnecock Indian Nation to Grow Medical Marijuana

February 8, 2016

The Shinnecock Indian Nation has approved partnering with an outside developer to cultivate and sell medical marijuana. The growing operation would be based on their Southampton reservation. It would include a 32,000-square-foot cultivation building and a 1,200 to 1,300 square foot dispenary. Their tribe's outside partner would develop and finance the project.