Marijuana Dispensaries are Sprouting in Large Numbers on Mohawk Territory

Article by Jorge Barrera, CBC News

Cannabis: the new tobacco? Marijuana dispensaries are sprouting in large numbers on Mohawk territory, while community rules are up in the air Jorge Barrera, CBC News. A billboard advertising Deerfield cigarette brand cigarettes stands next to a billboard for Better Buds marijuana dispensary. (Jorge Barrera/CBC). The western border of Tyendinaga, along old Hwy 2. In the background, to the left of the sign, stands the L’eagle Dreams dispensary. (Jorge Barrera/CBC)

It’s a 24-hour, seven-day a week business at the Pot Shoppe on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory, east of Belleville, Ont.

The small, cabin-like store was busy during the Victoria Day long weekend.

At one point on Sunday, a male customer walked in to buy a gram of whatever he could get for $10 and asked about job opportunities.

Robert Fisher, who goes by his Mohawk name Tehonikonrathe, was minding the counter and told the man apologetically that he’s not the guy to talk to about jobs and then measured out the gram.

The customer then noticed a tomato plant near the counter next to some cannabis clones.

“Is it crossed with pot or anything or is it pure tomato?” he asked.

Tehonikonrathe laughed, “It’s pure tomato.”

The Pot Shoppe is one of about 42 cannabis dispensaries that have cropped up in Tyendinaga territory over the past 18 months. At least 20 of them have sprouted since December.

The dispensary types range from large compounds like Tim Barnhart’s Legacy 420, to storefronts in campers like Brendan McLaughlin’s Bayshore Dispensary which features a strain named after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Billboards for Sago and Deerfield cigarettes now mingle with ones advertising dispensaries named Better Buds and Peacemaker 420 as the seven-pointed leaf replaces tobacco as the cash crop in Tyendinaga.

It has not been without friction.

The Pot Shoppe opened its doors after the building’s previous tenants, who came from Toronto through a contact in Tyendinaga and operated under the name Smoke on the Water, were evicted by the property owner, with the support of community members, last month.

Read the full article here.

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