The Colville Tribes launched an industrial hemp operation on its reservation in Washington on July 9, 2017. Photo courtesy Colville Tribes
Colville Tribes enter second year of hemp production with bigger grow
The Colville Tribes are expanding their hemp operation in Washington state.

The tribe planted hemp on a 120-acre parcel on the reservation last week, The Tribal Tribune reported. That's double the acreage of last year's grow.

“Our focus has always been to grow as organically and naturally as possible while benefiting wildlife and conserving water," Jackie Richter, the tribe's conservation district manager, told The Tribune. "It’s a balancing act.”

Apparently, the tribe is the only entity that is able to balance those concerns. According to The Capital Press, the only licensed hemp operation in Washington this year is the one at Colville.

The tribe went through the state after the 2014 Farm Bill opened the door to hemp production in Washington, where the plant is legal. The law, however, does not recognize tribal sovereignty over hemp.

The tribe would like to get its own federal license for hemp in order to exercise greater control over the operation, Richter told The Tribune.

The situation could change if Congress passes the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act, also known as the STATES Act. The bill (S.3032 | H.R.6043) ensures that tribes and states can grow hemp without facing federal enforcement.

Through the Department of Justice has taken a tougher stance on hemp and marijuana, President Donald Trump has said he will "probably" support the STATES Act.

Read More on the Story:
Tribe plants second hemp crop (The Tribal Tribune June 18, 2018)
Washington’s second hemp year off to slow start (The Capital Press June 13, 2018)

Obama-Era Guidance [Since Rescinded]:
Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

Related Stories:
Trump will 'probably end up supporting' marijuana bill that helps tribes (June 12, 2018)
Bill recognizes tribal sovereignty over marijuana amid uncertainty in Washington (June 7, 2018)