Indigenous and indigenous cannabis brands thrive despite regulatory hurdles

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Most Americans learn in elementary school that Native Americans and colonizing European pilgrims feasted together on First Thanksgiving, and that we recreate this tradition each year with our own family Thanksgiving celebrations. The truth is, the first Thanksgiving was an accidental gathering. Pilgrims fired muskets to celebrate their first harvest, and members of the Wampanoag tribe arrived prepared for war. Realizing the gunfire was a celebration, the Wampanoag stayed for a tense meal to keep the peace. Some Wampanoag members consider the day called “Thanksgiving” to be a national day of mourning. These truths are an essential part of American history, and acknowledging them is just one way of honoring the Indigenous people who have ruled this land for generations.

When cannabis prohibition began to lift and the industry opened up, many tribes and those living on reserves were excluded from the legislation. For example, the Farm Bill of 2014 granted states the right to set up pilot programs on hemp, but did not grant the same power to Native American tribes. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized cultivation at the federal level, tribes still had to wait for USDA regulations before they could begin implementing hemp programs. This has given other companies a head start in gaining market share and establishing their hemp farming infrastructure. The same lack of representation is also a problem in Canada: in September 2021, only 5% of the Canadian cannabis market was owned by Indigenous people. Despite the lack of Indigenous representation, there are still some Indigenous-owned retail stores, crops, CBD companies, and testing labs on Turtle Island. Some state legislatures, like those in Washington and Nevada, have opened up the cannabis industry to tribal trade, but much remains to be done to make the cannabis trade more accessible to Indigenous peoples.

Chenae Bullock is a member of the Shinnecock Nation and Managing Director of Little Beach Harvest, the tribe’s cannabis retail store that has chosen to open through a partnership with TILT.

“Building partnerships as a tribal enterprise takes work to create a change in the way tribal communities are viewed. For far too long we have been deliberately hidden and brought up to the past, making it difficult for many to see that we are leaders in what we offer. Once that perspective changes, we are seen as equal partners and businesses. can thrive. – Chenae Bullock, General Manager of Little Beach Harvest

In the hope that you will make indigenous purchases where possible, we have put together a list of cannabis industry companies owned by indigenous tribes, owned by tribal members, and some owned by partnered tribes. with bigger brands of cannabis.

These stores have been pulled from various sources including InclusiveBase, the PoC cannabis directory. Prior to being added here, the following businesses were vetted to ensure they were owned by Aboriginal people. Some businesses are tribal owned, some operate on reserves while others do not. We’ve posted information relevant to each business – scroll down to find Indigenous-owned cannabis retailers, grow sites, testing labs, CBD brands, and industry partnerships.

Retail

  • Agate Dreams // Port Madison Indian Reserve
    Agate Dreams is a cannabis retail store operated by the Suquamish Evergreen Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Port Madison Enterprises, an agency of the Suquamish tribe.
  • Cedar Greens // S’Kllalam Territory – Sequim, Washington
    This store is owned by the Jamestown S’Kllalam Tribe, a group of the S’kllalam people who have purchased 210 acres along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where they continue to preserve and enhance the cultural identity of the Jamestown S Nation. ‘Kllalam.
  • Beginnings Bay Cannabis // Busy Coast Salish & Puyallup Land – Fife & Tacoma, Washington
    The Commencement Bay chain of stores is owned by the Puyallup tribe.
  • Elevation // Occupied Squaxin, Coast Salish Land – Shelton, Washington
    This store is owned by the Squaxin Island tribe who compiled this Native American label for those who visit.
  • High Point Cannabis // Occupied Suquamish, Coast Salish Land – Kingston, Washington.
    This cannabis dispensary belongs to the Port Gamble group of the S’Kllalam tribe.
  • Joint Rivers // Occupied Coast Salish, Muckleshoot land – Auburn, Washington
    This store is operated by the Muckleshoot tribe which is made up of the Duwamish and Upper Puyallup, the name Muckleshoot comes from the grassland on which the reserve was established, the tribe was then referred to by the name of the grassland rather than their historical tribe names.
  • Tulalip Remedy // Tulalip Territory – Tulalip, Washington
    The government established a reserve at Tulalip for the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish and other allied tribes and bands that signed the Point Elliot Treaty. Tulalip is one of the Salish tribes of the Puget Sound coast and the tribe owns Remedy Tulalip.
  • Coast Salish Cannabis // Occupied Treaty Group Territories Samish, Coast Salish, Sauk Suiattle, Skagit and Hul-qumi-num – Anacortes, Washington
    This store is owned and operated by the Swinomish Indian tribal community.
  • Elwha Peaks // Occupied Coast Salish, S’Kllalam land – Port Angeles, Washington
    Elwha Peaks is wholly owned and operated by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, all revenue from the store is used to support the improvement of the tribe through infrastructure, education and similar initiatives.
  • Mountain Source Dispensary // Iipay Nation Tribal Lands – Santa Ysabel, California.
    This store is owned by the tribal lands of the Iipay Nation, a band of the Kumeyaay Nation.
  • Oak Creek Dispensary // Numu Territory (Northern Paiute) – Independence, California
    The Oak Creek Dispensary is owned by the Fort Independence Tribe of Paiute Indians who are indigenous to the area. The tribe also owns Oak Creek Farm.
  • Long Lodge Tribal Enterprises // Occupied Land of Tongva (Gabrielino) – Costa Mesa, California
    The link above takes you to Long Lodge’s Twitter account, which says the dispensary was initially closed due to damage from raids on illegal operations at the same business park as their regulated business. As a result of this, the brand switched to delivery, which has now been shut down by city regulators.
  • Little Beach Harvest // Shinnecock Nation Territory – South Hampton, New York
    This cannabis store is owned by the Shinnecock tribe in partnership with TILT and will be open soon.
  • Nabodoka Dispensary // Numu (Northern Paiute Territory) Lovelock, Nevada – Northern Paiute Territory
    The Lovelock Paiute Nation owns the Nabodoka Dispensary. They see the relationship between humans and cannabis as one of mutualism where the allied plant takes care of people and people put love into cannabis.
  • NeWe ​​Cannabis // Terre de Newe (Western Shoshone) – Elko, Nevada
    This store is owned and operated by the Elko Band Colony of the Te-Moak Tribe of the West Shoshone Indians.
  • NuWu // Newe (Western Shoshone) land – Las Vegas, Nevada
    NuWu is a huge store with a modern design, with a smokehouse and a drive-through window belonging to the Las Vegas Paiute tribe.
  • Pesha ‘Numma // Yerington Paiute Tribe Colony – Yerington, Nevada
    Pesha ‘Numma is owned and operated by the Yerington Paiute Tribe Colony, they have donated to a local organization, Native American Domestic Violence, the Yerington Food Bank, and more.
  • Tsaa Nesunkwa Dispensary // Shoshone Tribal Land – Ely, Nevada
    The Ely Shoshone tribe runs the Tsar Nesunkwa dispensary for the welfare of its people, the money earned is reinvested in food drives, toy drives and other fundraisers.
  • Water Canyon Dispensary // Numu Territory (Northern Paiute) – Winnemucca, Nevada
    This store is owned by the Winnemucca Indian Colony.
  • Green Chief Naturals // Mohawk Land – Cornwall Island, Ontario
  • Seven Leaf // Located in the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne, known as Ontario.
    The Canadian dispensary is run by Mohawk leaders.

Cultivation

  • Marché Rouge brand // Canada
  • Native Humboldt // Whilkut Territory – Humboldt, California
  • La Vida Ranchera – The Botanical Joint // Yokuts Territory – Fresno, California
  • Tokem // Washington
  • Native Seed Co. // Ohlone Territory – California
    Native Seed Co. is part of a team of husband and wife who recently suffered severe trauma: Robbie was in a car accident while carrying Advanced Nutrients products that contained lye. The container exploded and he suffered a chemical burn to 30% of his body, mainly to his face and eyes. If you can support her uninsured recovery, there is a GoFundMe put together by friends of the family.

Trial

  • Medicine Creek Analytics // Puyallup Tribal Land – Fife, Washington

Extraction

CBD

  • Nice Hemp Co. // Land of Gabrielino-Tongva, Kizh and Chumash – Los Angeles, California
  • MaatRa // Online nationwide
  • Canndigenous // Kiikaapoi Tribal Land (Kickapoo) – Cambridge, Wisconsin
  • Niota by Ho-Chunk Farms // Reservation Winnebago
    Niota is made and sold by the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska whose traditional name is Hochungra which is abbreviated as Ho-Chunk.
  • White Plume Hemp Company // Pine Ridge Reservation
    Building a CBD brand is a dream for Alex White Plume who he says will invigorate the tribes living in South Dakota. Donate to this dream here.

Partnerships

  • Native Bloom // Ten locations in Kanata – Canada
    These stores are owned by First Nations tribes and Veritas through partnerships that give the tribes 51% equity in the store. Indigenous Bloom employs around 200 people, 60% of whom are indigenous.
  • Lume // Michigan
    The vertically integrated Lume Cannabis Co. works with individual Native American tribes in Michigan to lease stores on tribal lands.

Note: The land surveys and other tribal information in this article are from Terre-Native.ca followed by research on individual tribes, usually via official tribal websites.



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