The Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association launched late last month to promote the exploration, development and advancement of the cannabis industry for the benefit of all Indigenous communities.
As a non-profit organization, ICIA is dedicated to the advocacy and empowerment of Indigenous cannabis businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs nationwide.
Founded by cannabis entrepreneur and member of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Rob Pero, ICIA aims to create opportunities for Indigenous people in cannabis.
“As stewards of environmental responsibility and with deep histories in agricultural expertise, Tribal governments and Indigenous people are uniquely positioned to add value to the cannabis industry,” says Pero, the founder and and president of ICIA. “ICIA will help tribal communities and Indigenous entrepreneurs navigate the cannabis industry, preserve Tribal sovereignty, further economic opportunities, and bring their unique perspectives into the national conversations around policy, sustainability, and equity.”
While in 2016 the National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution approving cannabis production to promote tribal self-determination and self-governance, create job opportunities, strengthen tribal governance and promote equity in the cannabis industry, the current legal landscape of the cannabis industry remains complex. As federal legalization of cannabis looms in the future, ICIA seeks to provide critical certainty for Indian Country cannabis economic development and long-term strategic analysis by building data and information on Tribes in cannabis.
“We are working directly with local representatives to support fair implementation and enforcement of sensible cannabis policies in our home state of Wisconsin,” says Pero. “We will continue to empower the Indigenous community and provide resources to Tribal Nations to influence policy at the state and federal levels and work to be a conduit of information for the community at large.”
Members of ICIA are given access to ICIA’s network of Tribal Nations, industry partners, advocacy groups, mentors, businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to help navigate the landscape of Tribal, state and federal policy and to provide resources for Tribal governments and Indigenous people to design and advocate for equitable cannabis policies.