National Law Review Article: New Administration Could Provide Ideal Backdrop for Tribes Entering Cannabis Industry

The National Law Review writes..

With the current legal and financial restrictions on the sale of cannabis, and confusion regarding the legal framework that governs this multi-billion dollar medical and recreational trade, many Tribes may have been hesitant or unable to enter the cannabis industry. The upcoming change in administration, along with legislative developments on both the federal and state level, suggest that the legal landscape for the cannabis industry may move further towards rationalization. Tribes considering entering the industry—as well as those that have been in the cannabis business for some time—should be aware of several key legal developments that will influence the future of this industry.

As sovereign nations, Tribes have the inherent authority to protect and promote the health and welfare of their citizens using methods most beneficial for their communities. This authority is plenary and provides a tribe with exclusive power over its members and territory.

However, the authority is subject to limitations imposed by federal law. In other words, as long as cannabis is illegal under federal law, Tribes enter the industry with the risk of potential federal censure and prosecution.

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