Nevada has 27 tribes and at least two have signed compacts to cultivate, dispense, test and infuse medical marijuana. The Ely Shoshone Tribe and the Yerington Paiute Tribe will both issue medical marijuana cards as well. The Tribal Cannabis Consulting firm helped facilitate these compacts.
The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, which has already signed a compact, will open its facility sometime this month, according to Indian Country Today. The majority of Nevada’s tribal community are in rural and remote areas. They have a hard time building a sustainable economy.
Casinos and gaming establishments aren’t an option to gain revenue given the thick concentration of casinos already in the state. Much of the work available in these communities is a copper, gold and molybdenum mine.
Diana Buckner, Council Member for the Ely Shoshone Tribe, said, “This is really going to help us provide economic development to our tribe and services to our small community. The governor has worked with us on the legislation, and we commend him for working with tribes.”
Tribes are more focused on providing medical marijuana than recreational, according to Dittus.
Dittus said, “The tribes adopted regulatory codes that let them issue marijuana cards. Those cards are also accepted for reciprocity with the state of Nevada.”
Bill Brothers of Arizona Facilities Supply says that tribes entering the marijuana industry should work with strictures. He said that not all states have protocols placed between tribal and state regulations, especially where reciprocity is concerned. Brothers said, “Arizona and Maryland allow medical usage. But Nevada allows for both medical and adult, or recreational, use and possession by anybody age 21 and older.”
Brothers doesn’t think the Nevada tribes will be at risk for DEA raids as raids on tribal lands in other states weren’t in compliance with state law – the Nevada tribes are in compliance.
The Cole Memo also applies to tribes, so that is another layer of protection, at least for now. The Wilkinson Memorandum in 2014 further affirmed protections of the Cole Memo so that it applies to tribal lands as well.
There are some additional hoops for tribes to jump through to enter the marijuana industry. This is not deterring tribes from wanting to boost their local economies.
Brothers said, “We have coalitions [such as the National Indian Cannabis Coalition] with the common goal of economic development.”