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Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Tribe launches marijuana project






Back row: Red Crow founders Richard Tall Bear, left, and Rick Hill. Front row: Torres Martinez tribal representatives Joseph Mirelez and Mary Belardo. Photo from Red Crow LLC

The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Tribe in southern California is launching a medical marijuana venture.

The Sovereignty Medical Tribal Corporation, a tribal subsidiary, will work with Red Crow, a Native-owned company, to develop a medical cannabis production and processing facility on the reservation. Red Crow will provide all of the funding and will own 49 percent of the venture.

"Torres Martinez's Sovereignty Medical Tribal Corporation is proud to exercise its rights as a sovereign tribal nation to partner with Red Crow Cannabis to provide quality medication for patients across the state of California. The tribe is committed to adhering to all federal guidelines set in place for cultivating medicinal cannabis within the reservation boundaries," Joseph Mirelez, a spokesperson for the Sovereignty Medical Tribal Corporation, said in a press release.

"I am honored and humbled for the trust and confidence that Sovereignty Medical Tribal Corporation has put in Red Crow in becoming a true partner. It is a worthy calling to assist the tribe in exercising its sovereignty to bring tribally regulated, organic medicinal quality cannabis that medical professionals and families desperately need," added Rick Hill, a Red Crow partner who is a former chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But a new Department of Justice policy could open the door to tribes that want to legalize the drug

The policy says state law will be considered in determining whether to enforce federal drug law in Indian Country. Medical marijuana is legal in California

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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