Senate Committee Hears From Indian Tribes On Marijuana Issues At Listening Session

Senate Committee Hears From Indian Tribes On Marijuana Issues At Listening Session
MJ moment

A Senate committee held a listening session on Friday to address marijuana issues for Indian tribes, discussing relevant legislation and the importance of Tribal sovereignty with respect to cannabis. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), first announced the meeting, titled “Cannabis in Indian Country,” last week. Schatz’s communications director recently told Marijuana Moment that the session was an opportunity for tribes to share feedback on cannabis issues with Senate staffers. The session is not considered a formal hearing, however, and no senators participated. Numerous representatives of Indian tribes and trade associations across the country participated in the meeting, both through in-person testimony and via webinar software. A main theme of the conversation was that many native communities feel that while they have cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions, they do not have the same economies and infrastructure resources as states that have legalized. “The Seneca Nation of Indians supports a tribal-federal-state framework that allows tribes to create and regulate their own cannabis industry, completely free from state interference,” one official said at the session. “Tribes and tribal communities are in the best position to determine what will and what won’t work on their territories, and we believe that states have no role in this process.” Other tribes who had representatives present at the listening session included the Suquamish Tribe, Pueblo of Laguna, Kumeyaay Nation, Puyallup Tribe and Santee Sioux Tribe. While many of the conversations focused on tribal-specific policies and issues such as taxation and tribal contracts with state governments, there were also several witnesses who stressed the need for a comprehensive end to federal prohibition to uplift tribal markets. Some tribal representatives pushed for expanded trade authorization for cannabis, including the possibility of marketing marijuana not just within their own territories but also across state…

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Source : Senate Committee Hears From Indian Tribes On Marijuana Issues At Listening Session

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