Raid On Tribal Marijuana Farms Underscores Uncertainty Over Pot Laws

CALIFORNIA: Native American tribes’ efforts to cash in on California’s “green rush” by launching large-scale marijuana growing operations appear to have been premature and ill-advised if recent law enforcement raids on tribal lands are any indication.

Pot raids conducted on the Pinoleville Pomo Nation’s Rancheria north of Ukiah this week and on the Pit River and Alturas tribes’ properties in Modoc County in July serve as reminders that such endeavors remain mired in a morass of laws that continue to make cannabis cultivation a risky business.

“It’s a cautionary tale,” said Anthony Broadman, an attorney with Galanda Broadman, a Seattle-based, Native American-owned law firm that represents tribes.

“It’s too bad to see people going in without really understanding the rules,” said Dale Gieringer, of California NORML, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Pomos Seeking To Establish State’s First Tribal Pot Operation

CALIFORNIA:  A Ukiah Indian rancheria is in the running to possibly become the site of California’s first tribe-sanctioned marijuana cultivation and distribution operation.

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation is among several tribes engaged in negotiations over a future marijuana-growing operation with Colorado-based United Cannabis Corporation and Kansas-based FoxBarry Farms, LLC, according to the corporations and federal filings.

The two corporations recently entered an agreement under which FoxBarry, which also manages tribal casinos, will distribute United Cannabis branded pot products in California, according to a news release posted on the United Cannabis website and a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The proposed partnerships follow a U.S. Department of Justice announcement last month that tribes — which are sovereign nations — have the authority to legalize marijuana on their lands.

 

Indian Tribes Get OK To Grow And Sell Pot

OREGON: Indian tribes can grow and sell marijuana on their lands — even in states that ban the practice — as long as they follow the same federal conditions laid out for states that have legalized the drug, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

Some advocates said the announcement could open new markets across the country and give rise to a rich new business on reservations, not unlike the advent of casino gambling. Others said it was too early to tell; many tribes oppose legalization, and only a handful of tribes have expressed any interest in the marijuana business.

As Washington state moved forward with legalization last year, the Yakama Nation took a strong stand against marijuana, insisting that it remain banned on the tribe’s 1.2 million-acre reservation and that violators face federal prosecution.