Native American Tribes Considering Starting Their Own Marijuana Businesses Outside State Regulations

California legalized marijuana at the beginning of the year, and there's definitely been some bumps along the way. But it appears a new issue has cropped up in the state's cannabis industry, and it involves Native American tribes.

Native American tribes in California are threatening to start their own marijuana operations on tribal lands if the state of California doesn't change its policies. Under the current law, tribes are allowed to apply for licenses in the state's legalized cannabis industry, but those applications must include language that tribes are willing to allow all enforcement under state law. However, the tribes argue that this would be a violation of tribal sovereignty, which they will not allow.

The tribes are now threatening to start growing and selling marijuana on their own tribal lands outside of California regulation. They want the state to allow them to participate in the California cannabis market while allowing them to regulate themselves, not the state.

California is not the first state to deal with tribes wanting to be involved in marijuana. Currently, there are seven tribes in Washington with state contracts to grow and sell cannabis. But California is where the problem will be largest, as it has more tribes (at over 100) than any other state.

The state does want to solve the issue, but they anticipate it may take the rest of the year to figure out a compromise.

(h/t Cannabist)


The New York Cannabis Film Festival returned to Brooklyn this past weekend for its fourth annual installment, this time at the venerable Bushwick arts venue House of Yes. Presented by cannabis community and events platform High NY, the film festival featured not only comedy and adventure on its programming, but also several documentary films tackling political and social issues around cannabis legalization — and reminding us how far the movement has come, and how much further it has yet to go. “Our mission here is to use media to normalize cannabis,” said Michael Zaytsev (a.k.a.

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