The original peoples of what is now the United States were left in legal limbo after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which made hemp cultivation again lawful. Federally recognized Native American tribes could not cultivate under state regulation, because the states have limited jurisdiction on Indian reservations. But the US Agriculture Department dragged its heels in issuing federal regs that could apply to indigenous lands.
Caught between two sovereigns and desperate for new economic opportunities, many farmers in Indian country are asserting their right to cultivate industrial hemp and THC-rich cannabis under the un-extinguished sovereignty of their own Native nations.
Part 1: Reviving Hemp in Menominee Country
Part 2: Growing a Cannabis Economy on White Earth
Part 3: Standing Up in Lakota Country
Part 4: Showdown at Navajo Nation
Bill Weinberg, a Project CBD contributing writer, is a 30-year veteran journalist in the fields of drug policy, ecology and indigenous peoples. He is a former news editor at High Times magazine, and he produces the websites CounterVortex.org and Global Ganja Report.
Hero image credit: Malcolm MacKinnon
Copyright, Project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission.
Part 1 of a 5-part series on hemp and Native American sovereignty.
Part 2 of a 5-part series on hemp and Native American sovereignty.
Part 3 of a 5-part series on hemp and Native American sovereignty.
Part 4 of a 5-part series on hemp and Native American sovereignty.
First Nation tribes in the US and Canada embrace cannabis.