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Torres Martinez Tribe won't sell marijuana directly to consumers

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 won't be selling marijuana directly to consumers but will instead grow the product for medical shops around California, KESQ reported.

The Sovereignty Medical Tribal Corporation, a tribal subsidiary, is working with Red Crow, a Native-owned company, to develop a medical cannabis production and processing facility on 40 acres on the reservation. If all goes well, the marijuana could be growing by June.

"We want to be a part of this new industry that has a lot of medical potential for the people in the area," Mary Belardo, the tribe's executive assistant, told KESQ.

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.

Get the Story:
Local tribe to cultivate cannabis (KESQ 3/11)
Torres Martinez tribe to grow medical pot on tribal land (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 3/12)

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

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