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Nevada Tribe To Enter Medical Cannabis Industry

Alexa Ard

  One of Nevada's tribal reservations is diving into the state’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

The Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe of Nevada and Oregon are planning to open a medical cannabis cultivation facility, and there’s only one reason why…


That’s tribal chairman Tildon Smart.

“…to bring our people out of poverty, to create the jobs that we can better our community. And the profits would be used for helping out with programs.”

About 400 people live on the reservation, where unemployment is extremely high due to its remote location near the Oregon border.

The new facility will bring at least 10 to 20 new positions. And Smart isn’t worried about competition from Oregon, where recreational use of marijuana is legal.

“Like we said, it’s medical only. It’s not recreational. We’re focusing on medical research for the plant’s healing properties.”

A steady stream of medical cannabis shops have opened in Nevada since early fall after the state finalized regulations for the industry. The tribe plans to have their business open by next spring. 

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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