The largest Native American tribe is assembling a working group to study how it can use marijuana and hemp to boost commerce, health care and farming.
The Cherokee Nation’s seven-member “Executive Work Group on Hemp, Cannabis and Related Opportunities” will examine issues such as modernizing agriculture practices and identifying legal barriers to marijuana access. It will make recommendations based on those findings to tribal leadership by May 31.
“As Chief, I want well-informed policy, and the team we have assembled will be a great asset in that regard,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a press release last week. “I believe there are opportunities for Cherokee Nation, our businesses and our citizens to benefit from this emerging industry.”
“But we need to move forward carefully and responsibly and in absolute strict adherence to the law in order to ensure success and sustainability,” he said.
The Cherokee Nation, based in Oklahoma, does not currently allow any medical or recreational marijuana. The state of Oklahoma legalized medical cannabis in June 2018. Months later, Cherokee Nation Deputy Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo clarified that the statewide reform wouldn’t apply to the tribe’s lands and its members.
“State law legalization of medical marijuana has no effect on the Cherokee Nation as state law does not apply to Cherokee Nation,” Nimmo said at the time. “The possession and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under tribal and federal law.”
Published: January 29, 2020
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