American Indian tribes may now grow and sell marijuana on reservation lands. A Department of Justice memo released in December of 2014 gave them the go-ahead, and dozens of tribes are considering the possibility of starting up production.
California’s Pinoleville Pomo Nation is expected to be the first to throw its hat into the ring. The tribe has been working on its business plan with FoxBarry Companies, a Kansas based group that specializes in developing Native businesses. According to Indian Country Today Media Network, the tribe is expected to break ground on a $10 million, 100,000 square-foot greenhouse in the next couple of months.
The president of FoxBarry says as many as 100 other tribes are actively investigating the possibility of growing marijuana on their land. Things are changing rapidly in this new world of legalized marijuana, with more adjustments possibly coming with the presidential election next year. Some believe that doing business with the tribes will be more stable because they have more autonomy.
While they will have a good amount of independence in running their marijuana businesses, tribes are required to avoid the DOJ’s eight enforcement triggers. They are:
- Distribution to minors
- Using revenue to fund criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels
- Sending marijuana to states where it remains illegal under state law
- Using marijuana trade to cover up trafficking of other illegal drugs
- Violence or the use of firearms
- Drugged driving or other negative health consequences associated with marijuana use
- Growing marijuana on public land
- Possessing or using marijuana on federal properties.
All other legal state operations must follow these as well. Supporters of the tribes’ efforts say this will give them the chance to provide jobs and improve their education, health care and housing.
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