Shinnecock Nation approves plans to join medical marijuana field

Dancers at the Shinnecock Nation powwow in September 2015. Photo from Shinnecock Nation / Facebook

The Shinnecock Nation of New York is moving forward with medical marijuana plans.

The tribe will grow and process the drug for medical purposes and will open a dispensary on the reservation, according to news reports. Laws and regulations will closely track Compassionate Care Act, a 2014 state law that authorizes the use of medical marijuana to treat patients with "serious" conditions and who are under the care of a certified health provider.

"We still have a lot of work to do with coordination and consultation with New York State officials, and once we get that taken care of, we can actually provide medicine to patients who are certified for medical cannabis," Chairman Bryan Polite told The Southampton Press.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law although the Department of Justice seemingly opened the door to the drug in Indian Country with the 2014 Wilkinson memo. The policy, however, has not stopped federal or state raids on tribal marijuana operations in California and Wisconsin.

Get the Story:
Shinnecock Nation To Grow Medical Marijuana And Build Dispensary On Reservation (The Southampton Press 2/8)
Shinnecock Nation OKs developing medical marijuana program (Newsday 2/8)

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

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