Nez Perce Tribe Opens Comment Period for Proposed Hemp Ordinance

LAPWAI, ID – The Nez Perce Tribe has issued notice of a proposed amendment to the Nez Perce Tribal Code regarding the regulation of the cultivation, processing and distribution of industrial hemp on the Nez Perce Reservation. The notice opened up a comment period for the amendment, with a deadline of October 23, 2020. Reports Big Country News Connection

This proposed Hemp Ordinance will provide a regulatory framework for the safe and legal production of industrial hemp on the Nez Perce Reservation, says a Nez Perce Tribe press release. Approval of the Hemp Ordinance must be completed in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture, which through the 2018 Farm Bill, directed establishment of a national regulatory framework for hemp production in the United States. The USDA must approve plans submitted by states and Indian tribes for the domestic production of hemp.

“Due to its versatility and organic nature, Industrial hemp has been identified as a potential avenue for economic development on the Reservation,” stated Arthur Broncheau, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Law and Order Subcommittee Chair. “Because there is tremendous growth in sectors of the economy that rely on hemp, the Tribe believes hemp is an emerging market that can accomplish economic self-sufficiency and increase jobs in our region,” continued Broncheau.

The Tribe has deliberated on this topic for the past few years and evaluated research and recommendations on paths forward. The Tribe has also been active in the United States’ promulgation of federal regulations of this industry. “Promoting sustainability is a mission and core value of the Climate Change and Energy Sub-committee. We want to grow and help improve the soil that is used for agricultural purposes currently, and reconnect with a part of our culture that has been lost,” stated Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Vice-Chair, Chantel Greene. “Our ancestors grew and utilized hemp for several reasons including the creation of basic supplies, such as clothing and rope, and to support their health and wellbeing.”

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