Michigan Tribes’ Cannabis Ordinance Now in Effect

The adult-use cannabis ordinance approved by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Tribal Council took effect yesterday, allowing the tribes to regulate the commercial cultivation, processing, and distribution of cannabis.

Full story after the jump.

The adult-use cannabis ordinance approved in May by all six of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Tribal Council took effect yesterday, allowing the tribes to engage in all aspects of legal cannabis sales, the Record-Eagle reports. The tribes said the reforms will help diversify its businesses beyond “primarily tourism-based business” because cannabis “is an economic commodity in an emerging market that is not based on tourism.”

Under the ordinance, the tribes will regulate commercial cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of cannabis and cannabis products for adults 21-and-older within the tribe’s jurisdiction, the report says.

In a statement, Tribal Chairman David Arroyo said that the coronavirus pandemic led to a significant decline in the tribes’ revenue and that cannabis revenues can help offset that decline. He added it would help fund tribal law enforcement, education, health care, and social services.

“All benefits obtained from the endeavor will be used to enhance tribal programs for tribal members.”Arroyo, in a statement, via the Record-Eagle

Under state, federal, and tribal laws, the businesses must be on the tribe’s trust land, including their reservation lands in Peshawbestown and trust lands in Acme and Whitewater townships, the report says.

Other Michigan tribes legalized cannabis for adults, following the passage of the reforms by Michigan voters in 2019. The Bay Mills Indian Community opened their first tribal-owned dispensary in November 2020. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians partnered with Lume Cannabis Co. last year and opened their first cannabis dispensary on tribal lands earlier this year with plans to open five more through 2022.

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