Oneida Nation Starts NY’s Biggest Recreational Marijuana Business

Home » Oneida Nation Starts NY’s Biggest Recreational Marijuana Business
Garry Stewart
Written By Steve Brandon

April 29, 2024

oneida nation starts ny's biggest recreational marijuana business

The Verona Collective, operated by the Oneida Indian Nation, is poised to become New York State’s largest recreational marijuana business.

Its Location

Located in Verona, the operation commenced in August, conducting cultivation, harvesting, and processing activities near the nation’s Turning Stone Resort Casino. On January 3, the Oneidas inaugurated their premier retail marijuana dispensary at 5250 Willow Place, situated opposite Route 365 the main entrance of Turning Stone.

Growth and Development

This dispensary marks the first among several planned by the Oneidas Indian Nation on their land in Oneida and Madison counties. Products like whole flower, pre-rolled joints, vapes, gummies, and edibles will be available, all sourced exclusively from the Oneidas’ large-scale cultivation and processing facility.

Ryan Riggs, vice president of retail for the Oneidas, emphasizes the vertical integration of their operation, ensuring quality from “seed to sale.”The Verona Collective dispensary will enforce age restrictions (21+), with debit or cash transactions only. Daily purchase limits include 3 ounces of cannabis flower or 24 grams of concentrate, open seven days a week.

The Oneidas are actively recruiting for positions within Verona Collective.

The entrance of the Oneidas into the legal marijuana industry could significantly impact New York’s cannabis landscape, especially amidst ongoing delays in the state’s licensing process.

oneida nation starts ny's biggest recreational marijuana business

The Cultivation Progress

Housed in a newly constructed 50,000-square-foot building, the Verona Collective boasts substantial cultivation space, capable of producing 250 pounds of marijuana weekly upon full operation.

The Oneidas’ venture aligns with guidelines established in a 2013 agreement with New York State and local authorities, ensuring compliance with settled land claims and other jurisdictional issues.

The Oneidas agreed to impose taxes on their retail products, like cannabis, to avoid giving non-Indian businesses too much of an advantage. The taxes they collect on cannabis go towards funding their own government operations.

Verona Collective sends all its products for quality control testing at labs used by the state’s licensed facilities.

The size and scale of the Oneidas’ operation make it more similar to the 11 state-licensed medical marijuana operators, which also handle “seed to sale,” rather than the state’s recreational operators. State recreational licensing mostly prevents one entity from both growing and selling cannabis. Like medical operators, the Oneidas can grow in lit indoor facilities, while recreational growers are currently limited by the state to outdoor fields or greenhouses.

Due to state program delays, only 27 retail dispensaries currently sell recreational marijuana across the state, with some offering only delivery. The state has licensed 279 cultivators and 40 processors so far.

The Verona Collective is likely the largest recreational producer in the state at the moment, but not quite as large as some medical producers, according to Allan Gandelman, president of the Cannabis Association of New York.

While the state is ready to issue licenses for larger growers and processors, it hasn’t done so yet, Gandelman noted.

The Oneida facility is sizable relative to some medical growers, said Jeremy Unruh, senior vice president at PharmaCann, one of New York’s medical cannabis providers.

Verona Collective currently has about 50 employees but plans to hire more, especially as retail stores open. They have openings in cultivation, processing, packaging, and retail positions.

The Oneidas prioritize Turning Stone Enterprises employees for new positions and consider a strong work history a key factor in hiring for Verona Collective.

Take Away

The Verona Collective, led by the Oneida Indian Nation, is set to become a major player in New York’s recreational marijuana scene and medical marijuana in new york was already in the lane . With its great location, wide range of products, and quality focus, it’s set to have a big influence. Supported by large-scale cultivation and following rules, it’s comparable to medical marijuana producers. As it expands and hires, it’s shaping New York’s cannabis future.

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