Posts tagged marijuana
Business of Cannabis: Weed on Trust & Tribal Land Pt 3
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Since the Suquamish compact, Squaxin Island, Muckleshoot, and Puyallup have all entered compacts with the state of Washington to join in on the cannabis industry. Jamestown S’ Kallam, Spokane, Tulalip, Samish, and Stilaguamish are all negotiating their terms with legislation as we speak. Nearly all of these tribes that have entered a compact already have stated that they will be taking part in producing, processing and operating a retail store. However, Puyallup is on a different wave.

The Puyallup tribe, located near Fife, is making the most of their opportunity in the marijuana industry by sticking to their ancestral roots and exploring the medical side of the industry. The tribe opened Medicine Creek Analytics, named after the 1854 Medicine Creek Treaty, a treaty between them, Nisqually, four other tribes in the area, and the territory of Washington, which refers to where their reservations would be. Medicine Creek Analytics is a full-service lab that is paired with the tribe’s oncology research and medical center. The tribe has expressed that their goal is to explore the ways of natural medicine as a cancer treatment, because their tribe has a long-running history with the disease due to repercussions of the Tacoma Port that literally was placed in their backyard.

The lab will not only be advancing studies in cancer research, but also in the research of Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological disorders. As well as being a full testing facility for tribal grow operations and products, they also serve regular i502 non-Native businesses. The lab prides themselves on the honesty and purity of the facility, noting that many of the labs in Washington state are now under investigation as to whether their test results are truly legitimate. Their mission is to make a difference in the medical and regulation world. This is something that could put the tribe on a national level as the leader in cannabis research within the USA.

Just because the Suquamish tribe was the first to develop a compact for sale, and the Puyallup tribe is conducting every form of cannabis business known to legalized states, doesn’t mean that their compacts will work for others. Each individual tribe will tailor their compact with legislation the way that makes the most sense for them. The tribes Ely Shore and Yerington in Nevada have both recently broken ground for retail facilities and grow operations. Nevada has 14 tribes and over 40,000 registered tribal members (this is huge), so cannabis stands to be a very profitable opportunity, with possibility to create a much needed stimulus in communities within Nevada other than Las Vegas.

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Another tribe closer to home is the confederation of Warm Springs in Oregon. Warm Springs will not only have a grow operation for retail, wholesale, and distribution for recreational marijuana, but they will also cultivate just the female plant, or hemp, for fiber uses in the hopes to create a more sustainable future for themselves and the country. The opportunity that this tribe has on their hands is undeniably brilliant. Imagine a hub for stainable products made from hemp here in the USA—amazing.

A nation of people has for hundreds of years been limited in making any form of real
capital, being confined to the sale of tobacco and revenue from casinos, if they were so lucky to find the means to build and open one. Tribal members are not the only ones who see that the cannabis industry is a lucrative opportunity to generate millions of dollars—outside companies from other states are also taking note. A lot of outside marketing and consulting firms have reached out to the tribes with the hope that they are hired to consult them on how to cultivate, sell, train employees, and run an overall campaign for the public. And just how trustworthy are these people when a lot of them have been rumored to be out for the money with no real background in cannabis?

The two consultants that represented the Sioux Tribe in South Dakota are actually up for trial as they were said to be “in conspiracy to cultivate and sell over 10 pounds of marijuana with the intent to sell.” Granted, we know how that story played out, and until August 2016 the two men were expected to go to federal prison, but were ultimately acquitted of all charges. The two men were affiliated with Cannabis Consultant based in Denver, Colorado, but they are just some of many to hit the scene. Sentinal-Strainwise is a consulting firm based out of Florida, where medical marijuana is legal as of 2017 elections. The company has been named as the official consulting firm that will oversee leading Warm Springs, Oregon with their economic development plan. Typically, most tribes will hire other tribal members with the right resources and skills to operate a tribal business, to promote a stronger community.

For instance, there is a group of Natives reigning from North Carolina that are founders of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition, which states that “The mission of NICC is to provide education and guidance in collaboration with tribal leaders, industry professionals, and elected officials relative to the emerging regulated cannabis industry, while advocating for parity on behalf of Indian Country.” The group consists of a lawyer, a psychologist, and a social worker. The three are Native Americans that advocate on the behalf of Native Americans, and fellow tribes value that. So how will this all play out? The tribes that have so fearlessly navigated to the best of their ability in this industry are projected to make over 2 million a month, yes a month! I do believe that this is an industry that fellow Native Americans need so badly to be a part of. Where big money corporations have no involvement, revenue is recycled through immediate communities, and the possibilities are endless as to how truly impactful they can be in an industry that is soon to go nationwide. The sky is the limit.

Weed on Tribal & Trust Land Pt 1
Weed on Tribal & Trust Land Pt 2

~$toney Spice ~

The Business of Cannabis: Cannabis on Tribal & Trust Land Pt. 1

Historically marijuana cultivation on tribal land was seldom. Cannabis Indica grew wildly and there was no need for them to grow mass amounts when, depending on where they were, they could gather and collect what they needed. Natives in early (written) documented years used marijuana for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. When smoking cannabis, which not all tribes did, they viewed this as way to connect with their Creator. Just like any ceremony conducted, Natives would use specific pipes to inhale the smoke. These pipes were seen as living beings and spirits, making the act a very personal ritual.

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The late 1800s roll around and the USA now makes each tribe become federated and divi up the land they once roamed according to weather and food cycles. Now Sovereign Nations, each tribe has their own form of government called Council. One act of the Council is to bring forth a new law and oversee the passing of any law pertaining to their trusted land. To begin selling or cultivating cannabis, each tribal member must vote a majority to legalize the act. Even today, cannabis is legal in the state of Washington, but unless the tribe you have entered has legalized the substance, and very few have, you would then face a federal offense.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe, a tribe located in the state of Washington near Olympia, is where I met with a tribal member, Monty Sison, and the heads of their economic department, Cynthia Iyall and Bob Iyall (sister and brother), to discuss their plan in the coming years and/or if they even had one. Some tribal members have begun to make those first crucial steps in legalizing the plant by sending out a survey to each of the 900+ members. After analyzing the responses, about 80% of the tribe has said they are in favor of legalizing and getting involved in the cannabis industry, while the other 20% says no. Can you guess who the 20% are?

Elders traditionally have a lot of say in the tribal community. They are held to the highest regard, and their thoughts and opinions on matters are taken very seriously when deciding the future of their youth. Many of the elders today are from a time when the US government was putting the most money into propaganda, highlighting the (speculative) negative effects the plant holds in society. Many of these elders have also lost many friends and family members to substance abuse stemming from generational trauma, causing them to perceive the legalization of cannabis as a clear way of promoting a drug to Native youth.

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Cynthia and Bob both stated that they will put the time and effort into planning as soon as the tribe votes and passes the legislation. Until then, they both have other economic opportunities to focus on. Both shared a concern over recent letters from Jeff Sessions to the heads of the state, claiming they are in route for a crackdown from the DEA.

Let’s rewind to August 23, 2013: Obama is in office, Michelle is our First Lady, and we've come to one of the most crucial moments in modern cannabis history. The Cole Memo is released. The Cole memo consists of eight guidelines for states to follow to assure that the federal government would not officially step in and interfere with the states' endeavors in regulating the schedule 1 substance. Put forth by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, the Cole Memorandum’s highlights are as follows:

• Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;

• Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;

• Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law to other states;

• Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity; from being used as a cover pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;

• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;

• Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of the other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;

• Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environment dangers posed by the marijuana production on public lands; and

• Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

 

The Cole memo now gave free range, in some sense, to regulate the production and sale of cannabis. However, the memorandum was missing one very important element. Cole stated that this memorandum was allowing “state and local government” to regulate the production and sale of cannabis, leaving sovereign nations in question. Because trusted tribal land is the associated tribe's land to govern, a few tribes got the green thumb to join in what is now referred to as the “Green Rush.”

One Nation that is visible in the press for jumping in the game a little too quickly, and still has a court case pending against them, is the Flandreau Sioux Tribe in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And yes, this is a federation of the same tribe that fought for their water rights at Standing Rock this past year. The Sioux tribe had high hopes (no pun intended) to have the first ever Cannabis adult resort. There, you would be able to stay at the five-star hotel, smoke amazing ganja, and all the while be immersed in the divinity of the first nations culture.

The tribe immediately held a Council meeting after the release of The Cole Memo, voted to legalize, and began breaking ground for a massive grow operation. Yes, the tribe did the right thing by legalizing cannabis on tribal land but what they failed to work with was that fact that cannabis was/is still illegal in South Dakota, making it still illegal for anyone, Native or non-Native, to buy any type of cannabis products and leave reservation or trusted land, or participate in resort or lounge activities and drive home intoxicated afterwards. Should anyone be stopped by police after doing so, they would face charges with the state of South Dakota, which would also be fronting the bill (via tax dollars) for jail/court.

Even though cannabis was legalized on trusted Sioux tribal land, the fact that their main consumer was traveling from an area of the state where cannabis was not legalized, posed a threat to the state of South Dakota. The federal government then proceeded to reprimand the Sioux tribe, stating that they had no business or right to legalizing cannabis before the state. Their Council ultimately decided to stay on good terms with the government by shutting down any future of the resort and burned their crop to the ground. But where did they go wrong? Cannabis was legalized on tribal land! They are their own sovereign nation and govern themselves (clearly only to a certain extent). What happened?! As mentioned above, the Cole Memorandum included all state and local government, leaving an unclear explanation as to where tribes fit into the picture...

...To be continued !  

~ Stoney Spice ~

Mystic Marijuana: Full Moon in Aries

Possibly the trickiest part of getting what you want in life is just figuring out what you really want. And yet it is certainly the most important part of the process. If there was no obstacles in the way, would you still take the leap? All the goals that we put on the back burner activate our DNA to leap forward through the feared fire. Ask yourself what plans do you want to bring into action? Volatile rhythms in fire, embodied by the full moon in Aries, are here to help show what steps you can consciously take toward that goal, though it is ultimately up to you to accept leaping boundlessly forward.

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May the full moon nod in approval as a friend that you can count on. A friend you can talk to about your dreams. Transmute the obstacles of fire into internal heat, which will melt away outer constraints. Transmuting those obstacles doesn't mean you have to run, but rather allow yourself to momentarily fall and to rest. A relaxed mental state allows you to sense all the energies around you and notice how they shift. The fire may build a thick wall, but you can still see through the leaping flames.

When you walk through the full moon's fire your feet and fear are cleansed, allowing you to walk with courage. To the nonbelievers, the earth simply provides the paths to walk on, but to the divine that observe the planet, earth becomes an expression of the universal mind. Even if you don't know what you really want in life, remind yourself there is no limitation.

When we deeply change our mental concepts, our physical self follows suit. Our visions are earth’s mental energy, our universe doesn't want us to just survive on earth, but survive with it. Finally, to feel exceptionally high, clear, strong, or  “on top of the world," is to be apart of and experience all the miracles of earth, since our planet is held up by our creative visualizations. We must stand with conviction by these miracles, because in the end a miracle is what we may really need.   

~ J-Nasty ~ 

Business Of Cannabis: "Killer Weed" Review

Killer Weed by Susan C Boyd and Connie I Carter provided great insight into Canada and their war on the marijuana business. This was not just about any marijuana business however, this book focused on British Columbia a.k.a the war on “BC Bud” and the grow operations. These grow ops were thought to supplement not just Canada, but the entire US nation filtering through Washington. Killer Weed broke down the facts and provided key examples as to how the media portrayed the industry versus the actual statistics. The amount of energy put into busting grow ops, especially those within racialized communities, is quite astonishing.

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Where American government tends to racialize black and brown people in the war on drugs, Canada, to my surprise, racialized the Asian community above all others, specifically, Chinese and Vietnamese. Vancouver BC was portrayed and classified as the main hub for heroin dens and marijuana grow ops that filtered into the US. Washington State has stated their position by being very outspoken on the fact that the USA is being overrun by Canada’s drugs and forever claiming that “Canada, Mexico and South America has always been seen by the U.S. government as a threat.”

With pressure coming from the big bad U.S. to get their expansive drug runs under control, Canada’s law enforcement, the Mounties or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), began to switch gears and not bust your everyday average Joe marijuana user but start laying the law on the “major” grow ops that now “consumed” Canada. This was considered a $1-8 billion business. As pointed out by authors Boyd and Carter, the projected value of the market in itself is a large dollar amount with a very wide range. Carter also states that their projected numbers on the underground marijuana businesses are extremely unreliable, almost as if they are so unaware of the actual numbers and statistics that make up their War on Drugs.

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Throughout the book, you start to get the feeling as though the media and the Mounties worked together in an effort to spread fear. Citing examples on how just about every news station was only reporting on a wild marijuana bust that of course involved a person of Asian descent terrorizing an all-white community with their drug/trap house in white suburbia, or how someone was robbed at gunpoint and later was busted in the act of using the money they stole to buy pounds of marijuana for mass distribution.

One point made that I found very interesting was that Parliament would have many motions brought to the floor to increase harshness of penalties against people who poses marijuana and are involved in marijuana grow ops (over 80% of these incarcerations were people of Asian descent), but the evidence brought to the floor was in fact false evidence. The statistics ultimately did not support their claims as to why penalties should be increased, this led the bill(s) to be dropped. This fight still goes on to this day. The RCMP has had many claims against them, pointing out that their public relations department “fluffs the news/reports” to cause fear in others, as well as profiling and racializing. Feeding their mission to not regulate but discriminate. Sound familiar?

~ Stoney SPICE ~