Conscious Consumption: 100+ Indigenous-Owned Cannabis Businesses to Support Right Now

shallow focus photography of canister producing green smoke

This is an on-going list. The Emerald will continue to update it.
Please reach out or comment below to be included.

For a list of Black-owned cannabis companies, click here.

For a list of Latinx-owned cannabis companies, click here


Written by By Mary Jane Oatman, Melissa Hutsell, Taylor Short and Katie Bryan

Indigenous peoples have always had a relationship with sacred smoke. Hundreds of Tribal communities have shared stories of hemp economies prior to European contact, and have well documented accounts of use and enjoyment of the plant as a textile as well as for ceremonial purposes. 

The Nez Perce people of the Columbia River Plateau were noted for their smoking practices as early as 1805 in the Lewis and Clark Expedition journals, which also recorded the presence of a hemp rope economy stewarded by the women. 

The Indigenous’s relationship with the cannabis plant spans thousands of years. It was formed after a flood displaced the Tribe, explains Mary Jane Oatman, founder of THC Magazine and member of the Nez Perce, in Spokesman:

“[…] Looking for land, they released a bird, but the bird returned to the ship with nothing in its talons nor beak. Then the bird opened its mouth and out popped a sacred seed: a hemp seed. Reaching land shortly thereafter, the hemp seed was planted, and bore fruit that nourished and clothed the people.”

Peace treaty negotiations between the U.S. Government and the Nez Perce people were bargained for over smoke, as were numerous other treaties causing the “Indian peace pipe” to later become an iconic symbol of Native cultures.     

Now, the War on Drugs has led to a disproportionate number of Indigenous people serving federal prison sentences for so-called cannabis crimes.

One 2012 study conducted by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project found that, in Washington state, for instance, “Native Americans were arrested at 1.6 times the rate of whites” for cannabis possession. 

Disparities in arrest rates are even higher in states like South Dakota, where Black and Native Americans are on average five times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than whites, found a Shenandoah University study. According to that study, released in September 2020, “Native Americans accounted for 8.9% of the population of South Dakota in 2016, [but] they comprised 29.3% of all marijuana possession arrests that year.”

A paradigm shift is slowly occurring, as dozens of Tribal communities are blazing trails with the development of comprehensive regulations and policies to open up opportunities for their people. 

At the 2014 national convention, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) passed Resolution SD-15-047, which:

“[…] Affirms the following tribes have the right to be a part of the development of any state and federal legislation that addresses the growing and selling of hemp and marijuana on state lands; that NCAI opposes any such legislation that will override tribal sovereignty; and that tribes have the right, under their treaties and sovereignty, to develop programs that include marijuana as an economic base for their people.”

Since the convention, Indian country hemp and cannabis has proliferated the map as the number of farms, production facilities, testing centers and consulting companies grow among the nation’s 570+ federally recognized tribes. 

That’s why it is important now more than ever to become conscious cannabis consumers. This list of 100+ Indigenous-owned cannabis businesses is the perfect place to start.  

 

100+ Indigenous-Owned Cannabis Businesses

 

This is an on-going list. The Emerald will continue to update it. Please reach out or comment below to be included. Click here for a list of Black-owned cannabis companies, and Hispanic and Latinx-owned cannabis companies.

 

Retailer Store Fronts

 

  • Little Beach Harvest (South Hampton, N.Y.) is a medical cannabis dispensary,” established by the Shinnecock Indian Nation in order to provide quality treatment with compassion and convenience,” according to their website. 

 

  • Native Cannabis Company (Edmond, Okla.) is a family-owned business, ”located in the beautiful Cross Timbers region of East Central Oklahoma providing a unique Ecoregion perfect for the cultivation of high quality, connoisseur grade cannabis,” according to poster.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tsaa Nesunkwa Dispensary (Ely, Nev.) takes its name from the Shoshone term for “feeling good.” According to the company’s website, it is “Nevada’s first Northeastern medical and recreational dispensary located on the Ely Shoshone Reservation.” 

 

  • Newe Cannabis (Elko, Nev.) opened in April 2020, and was founded by the Elko Band Colony of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians. According to Newe’s website, the dispensary hopes to, “provide much needed economic development for the Tribe and responsibly provide a service for the people of Elko County and Nevada for years to come.”

 

  • NuWu (Las Vegas) includes two locations, NuWu North, and NuWu Cannabis Marketplace—the world’s largest dispensary, according to the company’s website. It’s also the home of Las Vegas’s only consumption room, and features a 24 hour drive-thru. Owned by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe

 

  • Agate Dreams (Poulsbo, Wash.) is Kitsap County’s largest recreational dispensary. According to the company’s website, it’s located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, and is “operated by the Suquamish Evergreen Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Port Madison Enterprises, an agency of the Suquamish Tribe.”

 

  • Joint Rivers (Auburn, Wash.) is located on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation. It’s home to the state’s first drive-thru dispensary, which opened in 2018. According to The Federal Law Mirror, the Muckleshoot Tribe handled all planning and development of the dispensary. 

 

  • Elevation (Shelton, Wash.) is located on the Squaxin Island Indian Reservation. Elevation opened in November 2015, making it “the first retail cannabis shop to open on tribal land,” according to Elevation’s website. “All profits from Elevation support crucial infrastructure such as healthcare, education, economic development and employment for the Squaxin Island Tribe.” 

 

 

 

  • Pesha Numma (Yerrington, Nev.) is located on the Yerington Paiute Tribe Colony, “Pesha Numma is the only medical and recreational dispensary for adults 21 years of age [between Las Vegas and Reno]; serving the Mason Valley and Yerington Paiute Tribe,” according to the company’s website. Owned and operated by the Yerington Paiute Tribe. 

 

 

 

  • Nabodoka Dispensary (Lovelock, Nev.) is located on the Lovelock Paiute Tribe Colony. The dispensary holds annual events, including for 4/20 and the Lovelock Street Fair Car Show, according to the company’s website. 

 

 

 

  • Salish Coast Company (Anacortes, Wash.) is a retail dispensary that carries “high-quality cannabis in a variety of consumption options to meet every customer’s needs, including tinctures, topicals, edibles, flowers, and concentrates,” according to their website. Founded by Antyn J. Vejil, and Marcus Joe — a member of the Swinomish Tribe.

 

 

Brands 

  • BreadxButta (Brooklyn, N. Y.) is an art, education and wellness brand that offers consultations, a concept studio, and a line of topicals created to be, “reminiscent of Caribbean/Puerto Rican home remedies and Brujeria magic,” according to the website. Founded by Lynsey Ayala

 

 

  • Sagebrush Hill Group, LLC (Window Rock, Ariz.) was founded by Derrick Watchman in 2017. According to Watchman’s LinkedIn, the company focuses on “advisory, acquisition, and development of businesses related to banking, gaming, finance and economic development.” 

 

 

  • Warm Springs Ventures (Warm Springs, Ore.) “The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs tribal membership approved a referendum on December 17, 2015 to own and operate a cannabis production, processing, wholesale and retail sales of these products. The referendum also authorized the production, sale, wholesale and retail sale of industrial hemp for future development,” according to their website. 

 

  • Lea Littleleaf Glass (Portland, Ore.) Lea LIttleleaf is an Indigenous lampworker, plant lover and activist that is an emerging star in the world of competitive glassblowing. Littleleaf specializes in creating fishing lure designs and is inspired by her Native roots to incorporate fishing cultures from the Pacific Northwest. 

 

Consulting 

 

 

 

 

  • Native Network Consulting (California) was founded by La Vonne Peck and Niki Vandenburgh, Native Network Consulting works with Tribal governments to help consult on, ”what makes hemp federally legal to grow; industry outlook and opportunities for business development; navigating the crop from planting to production,” and more, according to their website. 

 

  • Moskehtu Consulting (Decatur, Ga.) is a cultural and heritage consulting firm founded by Chenae Bullock, “an enrolled Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribal Member and descendant of the Montauk Tribe in Long Island New York,” states the company’s website. 

 

 

  • Emerald Enterprises, Inc. (Valley Center, Calif.) is a “Native-owned multidivisional cannabis solutions company that provides superior Native American Cannabis Consulting services in Medical Cannabis (marijuana) / Industrial Cannabis (Hemp),” according to the company’s Facebook. 

 

  • Native Agronomics Inc. (Auburn, Wash.) is focused on bridging the gap between Native nations and the commercial cannabis world. According to the company’s website, their mission is, “to help Indian Nations develop their economic basis for supporting sovereignty and building community through the emerging cannabis industry.”

 

 

 

  • Boliver Consulting LLC. offers “cannabis and hemp business development consulting practice,” including the management of daily operations and client relationships, and management of daily operations, according to founder Larisa Bolivar’s LinkedIn page. 

 

 

 

  • Tinhorn Consulting (Phoenix, Ariz.) is a 100% Native and woman-owned, full-service marketing and consulting firm that originated on the Hualapai Indian Reservation in Peach Springs, Arizona. Tinhorn Consulting was founded by April Tinhorn, “in response to the growing need for a professional services agency that truly understands Indian Country,” according to the company’s website. 

 

 

Organizations

  • InterTribal Marijuana Commission of Nevada (Nevada) or TMED is a division of the Inter Tribal Marijuana Enforcement Commission, whose mission is to “promote public safety and reduce public harm by regulating the Tribal commercial marijuana industry through the consistent administration of laws and regulations […],” according to TMEC’s website. 

 

  • Hempstead Project HEART (Keshena, Wis.) was ”founded by legendary Native poet, philosopher and recording artist John Trudell,” according to the organization’s website, which adds, “Hempstead Project HEART is a vehicle to build public awareness of the many benefits of growing Industrial Hemp.”

 

  • Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is the largest philanthropic organization dedicated to Native farmers and ranchers in the U.S., according to NAAF’s website. The organization “provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers,” the site adds. 

 

  • Native American Hemp (Tulsa, Okla.) or NAH “is a Native-owned company that grows, refines, and sells organic industrial hemp products to wholesale and retail markets,” according to NAH’s website. Founded by Aaron Fournier, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, reports Native Business Magazine

 

  • The Indigenous Hemp Education Association or IHEA is a non-profit organization with a mission to “educate and inform of the TRUE history, present, and future applications of Indigenous hemp,” according to IHEA’s website. 

 

  • California Native American Cannabis Association (Santa Ysabel, Calif.) or CNACA is a membership-based program, “composed of federally recognized Tribal Governments dedicated to protecting the sovereign right of Tribes to provide regulated, legal cannabis products to their communities, and engage in the economic development of legal, safe, and high-quality cannabis products for California consumers,” states CNACA’s website.

 

 

 

  • National Native American Cannabis Association is an organization of tribal and non-tribal businesses that bound together to help establish high standards and provide quality services for those in the Native American cannabis industry. “NNACA has established the base standards for Hemp and Cannabis with experts around the world,” according to their website. 

 

  • The Buffalo Grass Company ”establishes itself as a professional and trustworthy entity capable of navigating the complexities of the hemp and cannabis industries,” according to nativenationevents.org. The company promotes sustainable use of resources, and offers strategy and land management services.  

 

  • Cannabis Consumers Coalition (Lakewood, Colo.) is a non-profit “consumer advocacy and watchdog organization in the cannabis industry,” with a mission “to be the voice of cannabis consumers […] by ensuring consumer rights, providing consumer education, and promoting ethical behavior on behalf of cannabis related businesses,” according to the website. Founded by Larisa Bolivar

 

  • CannaNative (San Diego, Calif.) is a Southern California-based company with the goal to assist Tribes in the development of “hemp and cannabis-based economies on Native American lands across the U.S.,” states CannaNative’s Facebook page. 

 

Culinary

  • TwoTwistedGirls (Oklahoma) is a licensed processor that creates infused edibles, topicals and boutique specialty items, according to the company’s Facebook page. 

 

Cultivators

 

 

  • Millennium Extracts (Raymond, Wash.) was established in 2014, and specializes in cultivation, branding, and award-winning extractions including, shatter, distillate, waxes and live resin. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Yurok Tribe (Northern California) enacted an ordinance to assert Tribal sovereignty and promote economic development for the Yurok Tribe through the production and processing of hemp and the development of new commercial markets for farmers and businesses through the sale of hemp products, according to the 2020 Yurok Tribe Hemp Plan.

 

  • Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) Navajo Nation legislation made hemp testing and growing legal only on NAPI’s lands in a research trial conducted by New Mexico State University, according to Navajo Times. While controversial in the Tribal community, a 2020 bill expanded the NAPI hemp pilot project from 200 square feet to 5 acres, the publication reported. 

 

  • Navajo Nation San Juan River Farm Board (Shiprock, N.M.)The Navajo Nation Council’s Health, Education, and Human Services Committee approved […] Farming Legislation that permits economic development through the production of cannabis and hemp,” according to the board’s website. “The legislation is intended to advance the Navajo Nation economy, promote economic development, and create additional farming opportunities with the intent to improve the standard of living and promoting health and welfare of the Navajo Nation citizens.”

 

 

 

 

  • St. Croix Chippewa Hemp (Webster, Wis.) In November of 2017, the Tribe adopted a comprehensive control program for hemp and CBD, however, a legal battle with the Wisconsin Attorney General delayed the start until mid-2018. The Tribe says its plans to grow hemp indoors in a former fish hatchery after settling the lawsuit with the state, according to Hemp Industry Daily. The Chippewa also want to explore market opportunities for other parts of the plant.

 

  • Quoddy Hemp Manufacturing LLC (Maine) is the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s industrialized hemp production company. Their seeds were acquisitioned from Kentucky with the tribe focused on researching which kinds of hemp grow the best in the climate of northern New England, according to a Press Herald report. The plan is to allow the environment to dictate where manufacturing goes based on production yield.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Saint Regis Mohawk (Akwesasne, N.Y.) the Tribe approved medicinal cannabis in 2019, and is moving toward the future legalization of recreational usage. The Tribe planned to have medicinal cannabis sales available as early as spring 2020, working with New York state to extend purchasing abilities to non-Tribal members.

 

 

 

  • Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (Towaoc, Colo.) is mostly geographically located in Colorado where marijuana legalized, however, it appears the Tribe is only in the preliminary discussion phase with several entities regarding their foray into cannabis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cayuga Nation (Seneca Falls, NY) was given USDA approval to grow and sell hemp.  According to the Finger Lakes Times, Cayuga Nation leader Clint Halftown said, “the approval allows hemp to be grown within the Nation’s former 64,015-acre reservation in Seneca and Cayuga counties, property that forms a horseshoe around the north end of Cayuga Lake.” 

 

 

  • Otoe Missouria Tribe of Indians(Red Rock, OK) gained USDA approval to begin industrialized hemp cultivation in February of 2020. The Tribe has expressed their disinterest in cannabis, saying it’s “not a direction we’re going in,” the Oklahoma Watch reported.

 

 

  • Oglala Sioux Tribe (Pine Ridge, S.D.) will become pioneers in establishing a cannabis market in a state where it is otherwise illegal. Per the Associated Press, Tribal leaders have “pitched setting up a marijuana resort near the tribe’s casino in order to attract tourists visiting the Black Hills.” However, due to state and federal regulations, those plans are in the initial phases. In March 2020, the Tribe was granted USDA approval for their industrialized hemp plan to become operational. 

 

  • Tokém Cannabis (Washington) is a cannabis processing plant that the Suquamish Tribe chartered via the Suquamish Evergreen Corporation. It operates as a private-labeling brand for the Tribe, an opportunity unique to the tribe due favorable to regulations.

 

Media

  • THC Magazine or Tribal Hemp and Cannabis Magazine is a publication created by the Indigenous Cannabis Coalition (ICANN) — both of which were founded by Mary Jane Oatman. According to ICANN’s website, THC Magazine elevates, “[…] the perspectives of Indigenous communities in the hemp and cannabis field to promote our collective understanding of how we can work to protect our sister plant from exploitation while reclaiming and destigmatizing the traditional and spiritual use known since time immemorial.”

 

  • Concerned Dabs Podcast is a podcast that focuses on educating listeners about the cannabis industry, and leaders in it. The series features interviews with entrepreneurs, musicians, social justice advocates and more. 

 

 

  • 500nations.com is a comprehensive website and news source for Native American businesses across the U.S. and Canada., including those in the cannabis industry. 

 

 

CBD

 

  • Jade Premium CBD focuses on “creating top of the line organic and non-GMO CBD infused products,” that are sourced from U.S.-grown industrial hemp, according to the company’s website. Products include tinctures, lotions and merchandise. 

 

  • The Native Oil LLC (Oklahoma) is “formed under jurisdiction of the Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma. We are dedicated to the creation of long-term economic development and job creation for Native American Tribes and their citizens,” according to the company’s website. 

 

  • Evo Hemp (Boulder, Colo.) was co-founded by Ari Sherman and Jourdan Samel, who also founded Hemp Health. According to Evo’s website, “The Hemp Health mission is to help lift rural communities out of poverty with industrial hemp farming. Evo Hemp launched a CBD product line in partnership with Native American tribes aimed at using industrial hemp as a way to empower small indigenous farmers and revitalize native farming communities.”

 

  • White Plume Hemp (Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D.) is a soon to be launched industrial hemp company, founded by Alex White Plume, who has “fought for the right to bring this sacred plant back to the native people of South Dakota. They know hemp will help transform the families and communities on the Pine Ridge Reservation – the poorest county in the U.S.,” according to the website. 

 

  • Navajo Gold Company is a pesticide and GMO-free “Premium Cannabis Company, developed by Aqueous Sciences in association with the Native American Agriculture and Commerce company based on the Sovereign Navajo Nation,” according to the business’s website. 

 

  • Good Earth Hemp Company (South Dakota) is a Native and veteran-owned brand, located on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation. The company offers a variety of CBD products, running from oils for pets and humans, to salves and gels. 

 

  • Bolivar Hemp Co. (Denver) is a hemp-lifestyle brand, founded by hemp activist, Larisa Bolivar, in 2018. Bolivar Hemp specializes in all natural products with high-quality ingredients. Products include lotions, massage balms, scrubs and creams.

 

  • Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (White Cloud, Kan.) The Iowa Tribal Executive Committee recently approved the diversification of their croplands to include high-CBD industrial hemp. “The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska plans on being at the front lines of the industrial hemp industry for Native American tribes and will be leading the integration of this plant into their already growing transition towards regenerative agriculture,” according to their website. 

 

By Mary Jane Oatman, Melissa Hutsell, Taylor Short and Katie Bryan

 

This is an on-going list. The Emerald will continue to update it. Please reach out or comment below to be included. Click here for a list of Black-owned cannabis companies, and Hispanic and Latinx-owned cannabis companies.

 

Indigenous Americans Have Deep Roots to Cannabis

 

Emerald contributor since March 2012

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