A hemp crop in Minnesota. Photo: Minnesota Department of Agriculture
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White Earth Nation looks to diversify economy with first hemp crop on reservation

The White Earth Nation is looking to diversify its economy by growing hemp.

The tribe invested nearly $100,000 in its first crop after securing a permit from the state, Minnesota Public Radio reported. Officials are now deciding what kind of products to pursue.

"No other resource offers the potential of hemp," Chairman Terry Tibbetts told MPR. The plant has a wide variety of uses -- from paper products to clothing to building materials to food.

Hemp, like its close relative marijuana, is illegal under federal law and, by extension, in Indian Country. But a provision in the 2014 Farm Bill authorizes production in states where it has been legalized.

To avoid legal snafus like those that tripped up a fellow tribe in neighboring Wisconsin, the tribe secured a permit from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, MPR reported. In 2017, the department granted 42 permits, including White Earth's, as part of a pilot program.

Read More on the Story:
White Earth tribe holds high hopes for hemp (Minnesota Public Radio August 9, 2017)

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