Monument Valley in Utah. Photo by Wolfgang Staudt
The largest reservation in the United States could soon be producing hemp.
Hemp has been legal on the Navajo Nation since 2000, when the Navajo Nation Council approved it, The Navajo Times reported at the time. But efforts to cultivate the plant have never gotten off the ground.
That could be changing soon. According to Reuters, the tribe is in talks with CannaNative, a cannabis development company, to cultivate hemp on the reservation as soon as 2017.
Although hemp is closely related to marijuana, the two plants are not the same. Hemp does not contain enough tetrahydrocannabinol to provide the same psychoactive or "high" that comes from marijuana.
Still, the federal government considers them to be the same.
Authorities raided a hemp farm on the Menominee Nation of
Wisconsin a year ago and repeatedly shut down a hemp farm on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in the 2000s.
A federal judge has since lifted an injunction affecting hemp at Pine Ridge. A shift in Department of Justice policy and changes in federal law led to the ruling.
Hemp has multiple uses and can be used in food,
clothing and other items.
Read More on the Story:
Hemp may be next gold mine for Native American tribes
Navajo Tribe Signs Its First Hemp Growing Contract (Forbes 10/24)
of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country
Tribe is no longer interested in growing marijuana (08/03)
Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe celebrates historic victories (07/01)
Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe reaffirms hemp grow policy (06/16)
Nation considers options after losing hemp lawsuit (05/24)
Nation set for court hearing in industrial hemp lawsuit (04/20)
Sun News: Alex White Plume weighs next move on hemp (04/12)
Country Times: Alex White Plume wins round in hemp case (04/08)
lifts injunction in hemp dispute on Pine Ridge Reservation (03/29)
asks judge to dismiss Menominee Nation hemp grow lawsuit (01/20)
Nation asserts right to grow hemp in new lawsuit (11/18)
Bricken: DOJ sending mixed signals on tribal marijuana (11/17)
Tribe to continue with studies of marijuana and hemp (11/10)
Tribe considers next steps for marijuana operation (11/05)
looked for hemp while Menominee Nation chair was at NCAI (10/27)
Nation slams DEA raid of industrial hemp operation (10/26)
Rock Sioux Tribe considers petition to legalize hemp (08/31)