Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

USDA approves Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Hemp Plan


April 13, 2020

Farmers deliver raw hemp biomass, dried to 10% moisture, to Prairie Products in Fargo. The company uses 190-proof denatured ethanol to remove CBD oil. Photo taken Feb. 3, in south Fargo. Mikkel Pates / Forum News Service

The USDA has approved the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Hemp Plan, effectively allowing hemp cultivation on tribal lands, with the tribe acting as the regulation and enforcement body. Sheldon Thomas, the tribal planner for the economic development department and the project coordinator for the Turtle Mountain Agriculture and Hemp Department, said he expects hemp will become the main focus of the tribe's sharecropping program.

The tribe began looking to hemp as a potential avenue for economic development on the reservation two years ago, when President Donald Trump legalized the cultivation and production of hemp and its derivatives as part of the 2018 farm bill, Thomas said. Through their partnership with the USDA, he hopes to form long-term relationships with area farmers, as well.


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