The Justice Department is expected to tell U.S. attorneys not to prevent Native American tribes from growing or selling marijuana on sovereign lands, even in states where it’s banned.
The move could further the boost the size and scope of the cannabis industry, though by how much is difficult to determine.
Tribes will still have to follow certain guidelines if they allow marijuana cultivation and sales, said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General’s Subcommittee on Native American Issues, according to the Los Angeles Times.
While some tribes see cannabis sales as a potential source of revenue similar to casinos, not all are on board with the recommendation. Many Native American tribes are against legalization due to the legacy of alcohol abuse in their communities.
Federal officials will still enforce U.S. marijuana laws in Native American communities that decide not to allow cannabis cultivation and sales, the Times said.
Opponents to legalized marijuana criticized the move, saying it shows the government doesn’t care about federal laws.