Cherokee Nation Work Group to Evaluate Cannabis for Economic & Health Benefits

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. has appointed a Cherokee Nation work group to study opportunities for leveraging hemp and cannabis through commerce, health care and agriculture.

The “Executive Work Group on Hemp, Cannabis and Related Opportunities” will make recommendations on Cherokee Nation policies and consider if cannabis can play a role in the Cherokee Nation’s Health Services system. 

The work group will also study the opportunities for Cherokee citizens—of whom there are 380,000—to raise, process and sell hemp and cannabis. 

“As Chief, I want well-informed policy, and the team we have assembled will be a great asset in that regard. I believe there are opportunities for Cherokee Nation, our businesses and our citizens to benefit from this emerging industry. But, we need to move forward carefully and responsibly and in absolute strict adherence to the law in order to ensure success and sustainability,” Chief Hoskin said.

Workgroup members will report their recommendations to the Principal Chief and the Council of the Cherokee Nation no later than May 31st.

While Oklahoma legalized medical cannabis in 2018, it remains illegal to use or possess marijuana on Tribally owned properties, though the Nation recently revised its workplace drug use policy to protect employees and applicants who possess a valid medical marijuana patient license.

Workgroup members include:

  • Chad Harsha, Cherokee Nation Secretary of Natural Resources (Chairman)
  • Tina Glory-Jordan, Secretary of State
  • Todd Enlow, Chief of Staff
  • Paden Qualls, Assistant Attorney General
  • Andy McMillan, Cherokee Nation Businesses
  • Kim Teehee, Executive Director of Government Relations
  • Dr. Roger Montgomery, Cherokee Nation Health Services

“The workgroup established by Chief Hoskin is a substantial step for the Cherokee Nation evaluate the changing regulatory environment surrounding hemp and cannabis in areas of commerce, agriculture and health care,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha. “I look forward to working with this team to bring clarity on these issues and to present policy recommendations that will advance the Cherokee Nation in these emerging areas.”

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