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Indigenous Cannabis Policy Summit Set For Nov. 15-16 In D.C.

The National Indigenous Policy Summit convenes tribal leaders, advocates and policymakers to discuss weed legalization

From Leaf Magazine by Steve Elliot November 10 2022

The National Indigenous Cannabis Policy Summit will take place Nov. 15-16 in Washington D.C. The event will bring together Tribal leaders, elected and government officials, business, healthcare, veterans groups, and advocacy organizations. And it will provide solutions to the most pressing marijuana-related challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous communities.

The Washington, D.C.-based policy summit highlights the importance of Tribal hemp and cannabis advocacy. It is a platform to discuss the complexities of cannabis legalization. The summit will emphasize defending the sovereign right of Indigenous communities to build sustainable growth in the cannabis and hemp industries.

The Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association (ICIA) hosts the summit. Additionally, it’s worth noting that registration is free and open to the public at

The marijuana policy conversation should include Indian Country, said Executive Director Mary Jane Oatman. And that’s where this summit comes in. “ICIA is gathering leaders from all areas of cannabis and policy, with an emphasis on agricultural development, to share the current success of tribes,” Oatman said.

“Laying The Foundation”

“The ICIA is hosting the National Indigenous Cannabis Policy Summit this month to create a space for Indigenous communities to come together and discuss ways we can build economic opportunities in cannabis for Indian Country,” said Rob Pero. Pero is founder of ICIA and Wisconsin-based hemp company Canndigenous.

“We’re laying the foundation for Tribal communities and Indigenous entrepreneurs to work together to navigate the complexities of state, federal, and Tribal legislation,” Pero said.

The Summit takes place in the heart of Washington, D.C., just steps for the National Mall and Monuments.

Nov. 15 Centered On Education And Discussion

Tuesday, Nov. 15, will be centered on education and discussion, with programming to include speakers from leaders across cannabis verticals.

To that end, the lineup of speakers for the Indigenous Cannabis Policy Summit will include:

Charles Galbraith (Jenner and Block), Chenae Bullock (Little Beach Harvest Shinnecock Nation), Lindsey Renner (Native Humboldt Farms), Brendan Johnson (Robins and Kaplan). Johnson is the former United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota.

Also included will be political leaders including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY); Sen. Cory Booker (NJ); Sen. Rob Wyden (OR); Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM); and Rep. Dave Joyce (OH).

There are more; you can view the full lineup of speakers on the event website.

Congressman Blumenauer To Deliver Keynote

The second day of the summit, Wednesday, Nov. 16, is a day of advocacy and action.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR) will deliver a keynote address. Scheril Murray Powell (JUSTUS Foundation) will provide a recap of the summit and a call-to-action. 

“We’re hitting Capitol Hill on Wednesday to amplify our message,” said Oatman. “We would like to see the federal government recognize and understand the importance of deference to Tribal sovereignty. We also ask them to recognize that addressing Tribal cannabis policy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Consultation with Indigenous communities and Tribal Nations on cannabis reform is imperative.” 

The ICIA’s mission is building an equitable and sustainable Indigenous cannabis industry. It aims to do so through sensible policy, empowerment, and connection.

To learn more about ICIA’s strategic vision and priorities, visit

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