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By Douglas Sciorra

Nativa Cannabis will open near Niagara Falls in early 2023

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The Seneca Nation is moving forward with its latest investment in the development of its sovereign Niagara Territory.

Nation officials announced today that Seneca Development, a Nation-owned entity, will open a cannabis dispensary on the territory early next year. The dispensary, which will operate as Nativa Cannabis, will be located at the corner of John Daly Blvd. and Niagara Street, next to the Nation-owned Seneca One Stop fuel station and convenience store. Construction of the project is currently underway, and opening is targeted for early February.

“After extensive research and planning, the Seneca Nation is excited to create a new, Nation-owned business in the growing and competitive cannabis market,” said Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong, Sr., who was sworn-in today. “Nativa Cannabis will join our other business enterprises, including our Seneca Resorts & Casinos properties, Seneca One Stop locations, and Seneca Gaming & Entertainment operations, in diversifying and strengthening our Seneca economy and generating much-needed revenue to support and fund critical programs and services for the Seneca people.”

Nativa Cannabis will operate from an approximately 2,500-square-foot building, offering a range of cannabis products for customers age 21 and older. The dispensary will also feature a drive-thru window where verified customers will be able to pick up pre-placed orders. Initial plans are for the dispensary to operate seven days a week, from approximately 10am-8pm, with an estimated six-to-eight employees. Employment levels and operation schedules will be adjusted to meet demand once the business is up and running.

The development of Nativa Cannabis marks the latest development by the Seneca Nation on its Niagara Territory in the last 20 years. Seneca Niagara Casino, now Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, opened in the former Niagara Falls Convention & Civic Center on December 31, 2002, following a dramatic $100 million overhaul. Several expansion and renovation projects followed, including the construction of the resort’s 26-story, 604-room hotel tower, which dominates the Niagara Falls skyline, along with the recent $40 million Seneca Arrival experience project, and other projects. The Nation opened the popular Seneca One Stop fuel station and convenience store on the Niagara Territory in December 2016.

Together, the Seneca investments total nearly $1 Billion and have created thousands of new jobs in the local economy and attracted millions of annual visitors to downtown Niagara Falls.

In addition to the Nativa Cannabis dispensary, the Nation and Seneca Development are planning to construct a cultivation facility on Seneca territory in the Southern Tier. The 90,000-square-foot building will allow for the initial cultivation footprint to be expanded to accommodate additional future sales demands.

The Nation has been working for the last several months with Opus Consulting, a Portland, Maine-based company, to develop plans for a vertically-integrated cannabis industry. The adult-use cannabis industry is estimated to grow to $2.6 Billion in New York by 2027.

“Achieving financial sovereignty remains our ultimate priority,” added Seneca Nation Treasurer Matthew Pagels. “The Seneca Nation has proven that, when presented with an opportunity, we can create industry-leading businesses on our territories that deliver substantial economic benefits to our people and to the surrounding region. Nativa Cannabis is the next chapter in our growth.”

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