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Former chair of Crow Tribe launches cannabis development firm






From left: Andy Nakai, Anthony Rivera, Jr., Stuart W. Titus, PhD, and Dr. Cedric Black Eagle. Photo from CannaNative

A new development company aims to help tribes develop hemp and cannabis economies.

CannaNative is run by Anthony Rivera, a former chairman of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians / Acjachemen Nation of California. Co-founders are Cedric Black Eagle, a former chairman of the Crow Tribe of Montana, and Andy Nakai, a member of the Navajo Nation who serves as chairman of the board for Navajo CDFI.

"Helping tribes create and implement proprietary solutions in the cannabis industry will take them to true sovereignty," Rivera said in a press release. "Cannabis restoration by sovereign nations represents a unique advantage that is larger than the multi-billion dollar Native American gaming industry."

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But the Department of Justice opened the door to legal marijuana in Indian Country with the 2014 Wilkinson memo.

Uncertainty still pervades the industry, though. In California, federal and state authorities have raided and shut down marijuana operations on three different reservations.

In South Dakota, Attorney General Marty Jackley claims non-Indians won't be able to use marijuana in Indian Country. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is launching highly-anticipated pot resort on December 31, 2015.

"The reaction has been insane to say the least," Treasurer Ryan Kills A Hundred told Forum News Service. "We'll take the free publicity."

The tribe expects to sell about 80 pounds of marijuana week, Forum News Service reported. At prices ranging from $12.50 to $15 per gram, the facility could pull in as much as $544,000 a week.

Get the Story:
Where to Stash Cannabis Cash? Tribal Nations Make Bid to Bank It (Bloomberg 10/12)
'Marijuana resort' budding in South Dakota, set to open by year's end (Forum News Service 10/12)

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

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