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DENVER CO, October 28th, 2020 – Yesterday the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council made a historic vote to implement laws and regulations defining how Oglala tribal members may develop legal cannabis operations. Many grassroots tribal members both on and off the reservation worked tirelessly and diligently to ensure the laws and regulations resulted in fairness and ownership for tribal members. As a result, tribal members are able to create their own business and the revenue generated will allow the community to build a thriving economy on tribal land. Tribal council voted 11-8 to pass the law with the grassroots recommended amendments.

The initial proposed legislation draft written by industry business attorneys working for the tribe modeled the most restrictive and costly models implemented across the United States, was heavily in favor of outside investors and completely neglected the social, behavioral, and economic issues related to the tribe. The proposed draft was leaked and exposed a model allowing 49% outside investor ownership including high costs associated with licensing and tier based system that created immediate barriers to entry.

“We as a group of tribal members needed to ensure the people are protected. By creating a Lakota economy through tribally enrolled member ownership, we are able to help provide the services and opportunities our people desperately need. Collaboration between the tribal member grassroots leadership and our tribal council has afforded our members the ability to create their own brands with high quality strains, while being strictly regulated.” said Jennilee Rooks, candidate for Tribal Council from Eagle Nest District.

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is located in the poorest county in the country with an average annual income below $7000/year, therefore the economic impact from small cannabis businesses should benefit tribal members and fines should not be excessive. The draft proposed by industry attorneys placed up to $500 in fines and 6 months jail time for use in public spaces, and limited home grows to just two plants, therefore the grassroots effort to amend final regulations was critical.

“This was a great win for the development of business 100% owned by tribal members” said Trent Hancock, an owner of Creswell Oreganics and an enrolled OST tribal member living in Oregon “ My personal goal in this law was to ensure our tribe has the first cannabis law that protects small craft growers from big business takeovers of their market.”

The grassroots Facebook group Oglala Lakota Tribe Cannabis operated by tribal member Jenny BigCrow has been instrumental in organizing all interested tribal members together in a unified effort to protect Oglala cannabis and will continue to be at the forefront of organizing as tribal members develop their new companies.

Media Contact: Trent Hancock (541) 556-2709

The Cannabis Consumers Coalition, a 501(c)3 cannabis consumer watchdog organization, assisted Oglala grassroots tribal members with language for new amendments that protected tribal member business ownership and adjustments in law enforcement overeach.

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