Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation is set to study issues related to hemp and cannabis such as commerce, health care, and agriculture, the Cherokee Phoenix reports. The “Executive Work Group on Hemp, Cannabis and Related Opportunities,” appointed by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., will make recommendations on internal tribal policies, consider the role cannabis could have in the tribe’s healthcare system, and make recommendations on hemp and cannabis cultivation and use.
“As chief, I want well-informed policy, and the team we have assembled will be a great asset in that regard. I believe there are opportunities for Cherokee Nation, our businesses and our citizens to benefit from this emerging industry. But, we need to move forward carefully and responsibly and in absolute strict adherence to the law in order to ensure success and sustainability.” – Hoskin Jr., to the Phoenix
Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha, who will chair the workgroup, called the study “a substantial step” for the Cherokee Nation “to evaluate the changing regulatory environment surrounding hemp and cannabis.”
Under tribal law, cannabis remains illegal; however, its workplace policies do protect medical cannabis patients. Recreational cannabis use is also illegal under Oklahoma law but medical cannabis laws were approved last year.
Several Native American tribes are already operating in the cannabis and hemp spaces, including the Paiute in Nevada, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon, the Acoma Pueblo Tribe in New Mexico, and the Puyallup Tribe in Washington. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota had planned a massive cannabis resort but they ultimately abandoned those plans due to state and federal laws.