Two tribes take action to further marijuana markets

What’s the right revenue per square foot? What’s a realistic business outlook for cultivators? Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks. Get the 2023 Factbook.

Recent action on the tribal front regarding marijuana saw the first tribal-owned MJ business open in Michigan and, in Oklahoma, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation passed a law protecting licensed medical cannabis operators and patients.

Northern Light Cannabis Co. and dispensary, located in the Bay Mills Indian Community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is the first of its kind in the state.

“Now we’ve seen here with the legalization of cannabis in Michigan that a lot of the people who are benefiting from this industry are wealthy investors,” Bryan Newland, tribal chair for Bay Mills Indian Community, told Marquette TV station WJMN.

“What sets us apart is we’re a community-owned cannabis company, and the benefits flow right back into our local community in the eastern U.P.”

Before the Oklahoma law change, the tribe’s older statutes defined medical marijuana as a controlled substance, which meant individuals and businesses located on the MCN Reservation that were compliant with state law could still be subject to criminal prosecution under tribal law, according to Mvskoke Media.

The new law states that marijuana in any form – cultivated, manufactured, dispensed, tested, possessed or used – will no longer be classified as a controlled substance as long as the person complies with all MMJ license laws under state and any other tribal statutes.