Cannabis Brands to Support this Native American Heritage Month (and year-round!)
November is Native American Heritage Month, where we pay tribute to the traditions and rich ancestry of Native Americans. Although the acceptance and use of cannabis varies across the more than 500 federally recognized tribes across the US, many individuals and tribes have ventured into the cannabis industry with great success.
November 17, 2023
Just take a look at the New York cannabis industry. The state had a slow roll out for recreational cannabis sales, but Native-owned businesses were able to open dispensary doors before the state’s approval because of tribal sovereignty. This allowed people to legally purchase cannabis in the state during a time it was not available, and also helped Native-owned businesses thrive.
Here in Washington, a number of tribes have launched their own successful cannabis dispensaries, including Tulalip, Muckleshoot, and Puyallup to name a few. These businesses provide recreational cannabis as well as needed medicine to many tribal members and the general public. Running a tribal dispensary is another great tool for growing wealth within the community.
And then there are many Native-owned cannabis businesses that are run by individuals or groups as opposed to tribal operations. For this article, we’re rounding up some notable Native-owned cannabis businesses to support not just this month, but year round. Many of the businesses on the list are not local to our Bellingham dispensary, Spokane pot shop, or other locations, but we still think they’re worth recommending for those who travel or live elsewhere.
Let’s dive in!
Canndigenous is a Native-owned hemp brand based out of Cambridge, Wisconsin. It was started by Rob Pero, a member of the Bad River Tribe. Canndigenous doesn’t seek to be leaders in CBD necessarily, but rather, leaders in hemp optimization. They are dedicated to being a zero-waste farm where every piece of the plant is used to regenerate the soil and for other purposes.
On a more interactive note, they also offer a “Bud Bar”, providing special cannabis catering for events.
Native Humboldt Farms
Founded and operated by Lindsey Renner, a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes from Northern California, Native Humboldt Farms is a sungrown cannabis operation out of California. The company partners with Cookies for some exclusive genetics that canna-enthusiasts can get excited about.
Native Humboldt Farms is a regenerative company that emphasizes the importance of sustainable and ethical practices within the industry.
Medicine Creek Analytics
Owned by the Puyallup Tribe, Medicine Creek Analytics is a cannabis testing lab in Washington state. Those looking to get their cannabis products tested in Washington can use Medicine Creek’s i-502 compliant testing services, which include analyses into pesticides and heavy metals.
This testing lab is the first tribal-affiliated cannabis lab in the US. The Puyallup Tribe sees the lab “as an opportunity to support a more natural way of managing pain and a way to promote safety within Washington’s emerging cannabis industry.” That’s something we can get behind!
Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association
It may not be a Native-owned cannabis brand, per se, but the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association should be on the radar of anyone interested in the world of Native cannabis. This group is focused on advocacy, empowerment, connection, and policy to empower communities and create opportunities for Indigenous cannabis entrepreneurs.
Native American Heritage and Cannabis
With nearly 600 federally recognized tribes and even more Indian Nations across the United States, there’s no question that attitudes toward cannabis vary greatly across different Native communities and individuals.
Here in Washington, many tribes have entered the cannabis industry and made a name for themselves in the cannabis world. This has only happened recently – in the last decade or so. Considering tribes have sovereignty, why didn’t we see more cannabis dispensaries open on tribal land in previous years?
The answer comes down to changes to the Cole Memorandum in 2013, which discussed the government’s policy of non-interference in terms of cannabis legalization. Previously, cannabis on tribal land fell under the same regulations as the United States as a whole. A memo in 2014 came out to clarify that the government’s non-interference policies would apply to all recognized tribes as well, which welcome many into the industry.
Other ways to celebrate Native American Heritage Month
Apart from supporting Native-owned cannabis brands, there are many other options for celebrating and uplifting Native American heritage during this month and all year-round.
First, look into local Native American artists and crafts workers and support their work. Purchasing creative pieces from local artists is a great way to uplift and support people this month and beyond.
Education is also key. Visit a local museum that covers the history of local tribes or visit some open-to-the-public historical sites. Visiting a local library and checking out the selection of books by Native authors is another great way to show your support and expand your knowledge.
You can also seek out local Native American heritage events that are open to the public and donate money and show your support.
Most importantly, don’t let your celebrations start and end with the month of November. You can support Native-owned cannabis businesses, support local Native artists, educate yourself and more all year round.
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