Questions Over Marijuana Sales on Native American Lands

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Following news that the federal government will essentially allow Native American tribes to grow and sell marijuana on sovereign land, questions have cropped up over whether casinos in those communities will be able to peddle cannabis to visitors.

The answer will have a big impact on the potential size of the market.

If tribes can sell cannabis via casinos, marijuana sales on Native American lands could be robust, particularly in states such as Oklahoma where medical marijuana isn’t even legal. That could convince more tribes to move forward with marijuana.

On the other hand, if sales are limited to locals, the market could be miniscule.

The short answer to the question: “We don’t know,” Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward told CNHI News Service.

Woodward said that it might take a court ruling to determine whether or not tribes can sell via casinos, as cannabis is still illegal under federal and state law. He also said that the recent move at the federal level is only a policy decision from the Department of Justice instead of a change in actual law.

Either way, several tribes have already said they don’t plan on growing or selling cannabis, so it’s unclear if any are even interested in creating a marijuana industry.