But in September Bureau of Indian Affairs officers confiscated nine, yes nine, cannabis plants from a home garden on the Picuris Pueblo that was tended by a local resident who is enrolled in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program but is not a member of one of 23 federally recognized tribal entities in the state.
Here in the Land of Enchantment supporters are lauding cannabis legalization as a way to diversify New Mexico’s economy, bring in tax income and address inequities left by the war on drugs while balancing the state's water crisis with growers who must prove they have valid and sufficient water rights. But groundwater is notoriously corrosive in much of New Mexico while prolonged drought bleeds supplies to critical and coveted acequia rights can literally be to die for. Sales are expected to start April 1 and more than 300 applications for operating licenses have been submitted.
In my home state of South Dakota the Oglala Lakota Nation has already set up mechanisms for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for therapy and adult enjoyment on the Pine Ridge Reservation while the Isanti Dakota Oyate or Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe purchased a parcel in the heart of the commercial district in Sioux Falls and just recently bought a long-vacant building in Mitchell where it awaits permits.
In 2018 the Oglala Lakota Oyate bought fifty acres just off I-90 outside their Nation and according to the Lakota Times Oglala Lakota College has the equipment to test cannabis but so far the cost of constructing a lab in Pine Ridge has proved to be prohibitive.
Members of the Yankton Sioux Tribe hope to have their dispensary, Indigenous Budz, ready to open in Lake Andes sometime this summer.
So far, the South Dakota Department of Health has certified 32 dispensaries, one manufacturer and ten cultivator licenses but the state's Republican governor has just vetoed SB151 which would have removed simple cannabis charges or convictions from criminal background checks. South Dakota has hired Big Dope to track the industry.
Meanwhile, the FSST’s dispensary is limiting patients to an eighth ounce of flower to avoid running out of product, constructing two additional cultivation facilities that will nearly triple its current production and tribal attorney, Seth Pearman says the pursuit of a compact with the state is ongoing.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Pueblo of Picuris Gov. Craig Quanchello and Pueblo of Pojoaque Gov. Jenelle Roybal on Friday announced the signing of two historic intergovernmental agreements that support the pueblos taking part in the recreational cannabis industry, driving economic development and setting guidelines for the safe production and sale of cannabis while preventing federal enforcement on their tribal lands. [Governor, Pueblos announce signing of historic intergovernmental agreements on cannabis]