Tribe Targeted By Feds Says it Was Growing Hemp

A Native American tribe operating a cultivation site in Wisconsin that Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided last week insists it was growing industrial hemp, not marijuana.

Agents raided the Menominee Indian reservation and seized 30,000 plants, asserting that the tribe was growing marijuana with the help of professionals from Colorado.

The raid was bolstered by a search warrant affidavit alleging that samples tested from the grow came back positive for the “presumptive indication” of marijuana, according to U.S. News and World Report.

There have not yet been any subsequent tests performed to determine if the plants in question were hemp or marijuana, the paper reported on Monday.

Regardless, the raid sends conflicting signals to tribes about the Department of Justice’s stance on Native Americans getting into the cannabis industry, given the Wilkinson Memo released in December that seemed to grant tribes the go-ahead to grow and sell marijuana as long as certain guidelines are followed.

It also suggests that other tribal marijuana projects could be at risk of being raided by the DEA in the near future, such as a cannabis resort in South Dakota that’s slated to open on New Year’s Eve.