The National Indigenous Cannabis Policy Summit, hosted by the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association (ICIA), took place Nov. 15-16 in Washington D.C.
The event brought together Tribal leaders, elected and government officials, business, healthcare, veterans groups and advocacy organizations to provide solutions to the most pressing cannabis-related challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous communities.
The Washington, D.C.-based policy summit highlighted the importance of Tribal hemp and cannabis advocacy. It is a platform to discuss the complexities of cannabis legalization with an emphasis on “defending the sovereign right of Indigenous communities to build sustainable growth in the cannabis and hemp industries,” the organization says.
“We’re laying the foundation for Tribal communities and Indigenous entrepreneurs to work together to navigate the complexities of state, federal, and Tribal legislation,” says Rob Pero, founder of ICIA and Wisconsin-based hemp company Canndigenous.
The National Indigenous Cannabis Policy Summit took place in the heart of Washington, D.C., just steps for the National Mall and Monuments. The lineup of speakers on the first day included: Charles Galbraith (Jenner and Block), Chenae Bullock (Little Beach Harvest Shinnecock Nation), Lindsey Renner (Native Humboldt Farms), Brendan Johnson (Robins and Kaplan, Former United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota), as well as political representatives including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), Senator Cory Booker (NJ), Senator Rob Wyden (OR), Senator Martin Heinrich (NM), and Representative Dave Joyce (OH).
“The ultimate goal of this policy convening is for Indian Country’s voice to be heard loud and clear,” says ICIA Executive Director Mary Jane Oatman. “ICIA is leading with the needed resources and is gathering leaders from all areas of cannabis and policy, with an emphasis on agricultural development, to share the current success of tribes.”
The second day of the summit began with Representative Earl Blumenhauer (OR) delivering a keynote address, before Scheril Murray Powell (JUSTUS Foundation) provided a recap of the summit and a call-to-action.