Recently the Obama Administration announced that it would allow Native American tribes to cultivate and sell marijuana if a tribe wanted to do so. Some tribes have already started taking advantage of the policy change, while some are still opposed to the idea, and some are still exploring options. A trade organization was launched today dedicated to the Native American marijuana industry. The organization is called the Native American Cannabis Coalition. Below is information from their website:
NICC is a clearinghouse for Tribal leaders for accurate information on the multi-layer process of financing, designing and construction of an effective cannabis cultivation and manufacturing enterprise. Each tribe will have unique interests, needs and regulatory restrictions to address which requires a strategy specifically designed for their success.
This new industry has the complexity of the tobacco industry and the regulatory pressure and profitability opportunity of the gaming industry. It is a scientific high tech form of agriculture that requires a structured level of professionalism in security, financing and management.
Those on the legal and policy fronts are important for Tribal leaders to consult with directly.
NICC has been formed to help move Indian Country leaders through the information hurdles of creating working cultivation and manufacturing facilities. NICC will serve as an educational resource for information on the medical benefits of cannabis; economic development opportunities for building a self-sustaining cultivation project from seed to sale; and investing with consideration for public health and safety.
This is a great thing. There is strength in numbers, and by the Native American community launching their own trade organization, they will increase their voice and influence. Native American tribes have a unique opportunity to get in on the next great industry. This is especially true in states that have no marijuana industry yet, recreational or medical. I hope to see as many tribes take the leap as possible, and for the new revenue to help their tribal lands and their citizens.