Earlier this week Technical420 put out an article about the first Native American tribe to cross the proverbial “green” tape and announce that they would be taking the Department of Justice up on its offer and start growing and selling medical marijuana on their tribal lands in California. This was just the beginning.
Today, the former president of the Seneca Nation, Robert Odawi Porter, announced that he will be co-sponsoring and organizing a national conference for Native American tribes that want to get in on the Green Rush. The Tribal Marijuana Conference is scheduled for Feb. 27 at the Tulatip Resort Casino, near Seattle.
Porter recognized a growing interest among Native American tribes all over the U.S since October, when the Department of Justice ruled that Native Americans can grow and sell marijuana on their tribal lands as long as it is controlled and regulated.
The Seneca Nation is the largest and most dominant Native American tribe in Western New York. Although, the tribe has been keeping a close eye on the issue they do not expect New York to open the medical marijuana market anytime soon, according to Martin E. Seneca Jr., the tribe’s chief counsel.
“New York has taken a baby step by acting to legalize medical marijuana. I do think that New York may be moving in a direction toward legalizing it for recreational use,” Seneca said. “That seems to be the wave of the nation right now, but I don’t see it happening right away here. I do think that people in New York will eventually start pressuring their legal representatives to legalize it for medical use. My best estimate is that is about five years away.”
“There’s been no federal legislation yet giving a green light to it, but a lot of tribes are very interested in looking into it, and getting ready for what developments might come in the future,” said Leslie Logan, a public relations specialist who has been promoting the marijuana conference. “There’s been a lot of buzz about it, no pun intended.”
Technical420 is watching this issue closely because it could be a huge catalyst for the overall industry. There are Native American tribes in nearly 30 states across the U.S and marijuana is still considered to be illegal in many of these states. If a number of tribes with reservation land in states where marijuana is illegal take the DOJ up on its offer to grow and sell marijuana, it could open up new marijuana markets.