Note: Wolftown Rep. Jeremy Wilson will give a speech entitled “Is cannabis the right fit for your tribe?” at the Native American Finance Officers Association Conference being held April 15-16 in Portland, Ore. This letter describes what he will discuss.
I will talk about my feasibility study, and what my plans are for the EBCI (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians). The point of my study is not to simply legalize cannabis or just being a shop to Cherokee. It is centered heavily around the hemp industry, and also, weighing the options of what marijuana initiatives could look like for our tribe, but the immediate mission is hemp.
Hemp is a multi-billion dollar industry, and gains most of its revenue through products. I want to see our Tribe invest into this industry by means of establishing our own Hemp Farmacy, and utilizing our new LLC Board to branch the Tribe out in the industry in other places. Our Tribe has already established itself with enough funding and resources to not only get into the industry, but to also create our own true product, that in return can be sold on a national level. In terms of economics, hemp alone will exceed gaming, and to have these two massive revenue streams in our hands, our tribe can be leaders economically in Indian Country.
But, it’s not just economics. Our Tribe suffers greatly from opioid abuse, drug use, and chronic pain/illnesses. Also, mental health issues. CBD is scientifically proven to be able to serve as a form of treatment or use for relief for those suffering in those areas. It is also non-psychoactive, so this means that you cannot possibly become addicted or high by using the product, but you will rather feel calm, and cognitively functional. You can prescribe CBD to children as well as your pets. This gives our people a natural alternative option for treatment. We can also use this for Hep-C treatment, obesity, and high blood pressure/sugar for those suffering with diabetes.
Our Tribe is seeking investment into a new high-value crop, and hemp will serve as that new crop. This can put us into position agriculturally, and also give our local farmers an opportunity to get into the industry.
Marijuana is the bigger money maker and can also serve medicinally. As it remains now, it is still illegal in NC. However, our tribe is still in position to get into the industry for profit. We can utilize our new LLC, and purchase dispensaries in states where it is legal, and in return, channel those profits back to the tribe. There are financial rules we will have to discuss, but the opportunity is there.
I plan to speak on behalf of these areas of interest, and also, speak with other tribal leaders who are already successful in the industry for their tribes.
Wolftown Rep. Jeremy Wilson