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Omaha Tribe to continue with studies of marijuana and hemp






A view of the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska. Photo from Omaha Tribe

A setback in neighboring South Dakota won't stop the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska from looking into the marijuana and hemp industries, Chairman Vernon Miller said.

Tribal voters approved three marijuana and hemp questions in a non-binding referendum last Tuesday. The outcome did not change any of the tribe's laws so the next step will be some feasibility studies.

“We’re still going to be doing some analysis on the impact of industrial hemp, medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana," Miller told The Sioux City Journal.

The tribe has land in Nebraska and Iowa and marijuana and hemp remain illegal in both states. Marijuana is also still illegal under federal law although the Department of Justice seemingly opened the door to the drug in Indian Country with the 2014 Wilkinson memo.

So far, however, no tribe has successfully grown marijuana -- or even its harmless cousin hemp -- without being raided by state or federal authorities. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota destroyed its marijuana crop after fearing a raid by the federal government.

Get the Story:
As Flandreau tribe hits brakes on pot industry, Omaha Tribe moves forward (The Sioux City Journal 11/10)

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

Related Stories:
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe feared raid of marijuana resort (11/10)
Omaha Tribe considers next steps for marijuana operation (11/5)
Omaha Tribe voters back marijuana in advisory referendum (11/4)
Omaha Tribe voters back marijuana in advisory referendum (11/4)
Omaha Tribe holds advisory referendum on legalizing marijuana (11/2)