Tribe Moving Forward with Hemp Production Plans
By Joe Morey
In January of this year, Tribal Governing Board member, Tweed Shuman, announced the tribe was considering hemp production after the U.S. Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized the production of industrial hemp and hemp products.
Last week, Chairman Louis Taylor said the tribe was informed the farm bill won’t go into effect until this Fall.
“If we want to go into hemp production it would fall under the 2014 bill,” Taylor said. “But, despite the delay, we’re still moving forward and plan to have a crop in the ground this year.”
Taylor said the tribe reached out to the state and they said the tribes don’t have to follow these regulations, but anyone we deal with would, “So, we are going to use this year as an experimental year so we know what we are doing for next season. There is a lot we need to learn. Basically, we do a practice run this year.”
Shuman said they originally hoped to have an ordinance drafted to present to the United States Dept of Agriculture (USDA), but this would have to wait until the farm bill goes into effect.
“This ordinance would be very important to LCO because it would be a tribal license, so we could plant, grow and harvest hemp, all under our own regulations, and not have the state tell us what to do. We plan to govern ourselves and be treated like the state is,” Shuman said.
Shuman is traveling to Denver to attend the NoCo Hemp Expo on March 29 and 30. He said there is a lot to learn as far as planting, cultivation, harvesting, processing, and he hopes to bring some information back from the expo.
Shuman said production of the hemp will be within reservation boundaries.
“We have the tillable land to do this, we just need to allocate the capital to get started and we’ll have another profitable revenue stream for the tribe,” Shuman said. “There is huge revenue potential in hemp. We’re getting close and we’re ready to roll.”
Shuman further stated, “We want to use the entire plant. The flower is for oils and lotions while the stalk is for textiles. We plan to get into production of all of that.”
The following information was from the previous story printed in January regarding LCO’s hemp production plans;
On Friday, Dec. 28, a presentation on a hemp production plan was made to members of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board by Jeffrey A. Cormell attorney with McAllister Garfield P.C., Tribal Cannabis Law Firm with offices in Colorado, California and Florida.
Cormell stated in his presentation, “The 2018 Farm Bill provides an opportunity for tribes to create their own hemp laws and self-regulate. The federal government placed tribal law-making authority for hemp in parity with state. This is a watershed moment for the federal to tribal relationship, in recognizing tribe’s status in relation to states. LCO has the opportunity to write its own laws on hemp cultivation, hemp processing and hemp distribution, including but not limited to cannabidiol (CBD).”
Cormell further stated, “this [the Farm bill] authorizes transportation and shipment of tribally produced hemp products across state lines and allows for federal crop insurance and opens the door for USDA loans to assist in the cultivation of hemp.”