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Tribal Hemp and Cannabis Summit set for April 23 in New Mexico

The Runaway, a mural at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo from Facebook

Interest in marijuana continues to grow in Indian Country, judging by the number of meetings and organizations popping up.

The latest entrant is the Tribal Hemp and Cannabis Summit. The event will take place April 23 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“With this summit, we plan to provide tribes with impartial information that will assist them in their decision making process. Both hemp and cannabis hold a lot of promise, and the opportunities range from manufacturing of supply chain products to full grow operations” said Cristala Mussato-Allen, a member of the Caddo Nation who serves as the executive director of Native Workplace, a co-organizer of the conference along with Kurple Magazine.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But a Department of Justice policy that was made public in December has sparked interest among tribes, who might be able to grow and sell the drug for medical and commercial purposes.

Since the announcement, the Tribal Marijuana Conference drew a large crowd to the Tulalip Reservation in Washington late last month. The organizers of that event are holding a workshop in San Diego, California, on April 2.

Out of that initial gathering, Henry Cagey, a council member and former chair of the Lummi Nation of Washington, decided to create the Tribal Leaders Cannabis Association. The group is holding its first official meeting today, after the conclusion of the Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Another group, called the National Indian Cannabis Coalition, also launched during RES. The groups reflect a slowly-growing list of tribes that have publicly stated they are interested in marijuana.

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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