Marijuana for medical uses was legalized in 2014. Marijuana for recreational use is illegal. In 1976 the possession of 42.5 grams or less was decriminalized to a petty misdemeanor.
There are twelve federally-recognized tribes in Minnesota. The DOJ marijuana policy on tribal reservations applies to these Minnesota tribes. Each is federally recognized as sovereign by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Interior Department.
For a complete list of Minnesota tribes and their locations, see our page about Minnesota Tribes.
Minnesota tribes recognize the challenges and business opportunities of the cannabis industry, and some are waiting for more information and legal clarity from the federal government.
The following tribes have voted to legalize production, regulation and distribution of medical marijuana on their reservations:
Red Lake Nation
In May 2020 the Red Lake Nation became the first tribe in Minnesota to approve medical marijuana.
White Earth Nation
In August 2020 the White Earth Nation voted 994-150 to legalize medical marijuana.
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis plant grown for industrial use.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow tribes to self-administer hemp production on their reservations if they submit an acceptable plan. See U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.
USDA-Approved Hemp Plans - MINNESOTA
|Lower Sioux Indian Community|
Red Lake Band of Chippewa
|State of Minnesota||Approved Plan|
August 26, 2020
Last week White Earth Nation members voted 994-150 in favor of a measure to legalize production, regulation and distribution of medical marijuana on their reservation. The reservation is sovereign land and exempt from Minnesota marijuana laws. The Tribal Council is now authorized to draw up plans to implement the measure.
White Earth Nation is the second tribe in Minnesota to take this action. Last May the Red Lake Nation was the first tribe to approve the cultivation and production of marijuana for medical use.
The White Earth Reservation is the largest in the state encompassing 829,440 acres. It is located in northwestern Minnesota and covers all of Mahnomen County and portions of Becker and Clearwater Counties.
August 11, 2020
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week it has approved the self-regulatory hemp plan of the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Minnesota. The tribe is the 33rd to be approved.
The USDA also approved the state plan submitted by Maryland, the 20th state to be approved.
For the current listing of all tribes and states with USDA-approved hemp regulatory plans, visit our page Native American Hemp Industry
July 5, 2020
Red Lake Nation became the first tribe in Minnesota to approve a medical marijuana referendum. In May members of the tribe voted 80% in favor of the referendum that approves the production, regulation and distribution of medical marijuana.
March 3, 2020
Courtesy of Lakeland PBS
Last month the Red Lake Tribal Council considered a proposal to legalize the production and distribution of medical marijuana on the Red Lake Reservation, and passed a resolution giving Red Lake Nation members the opportunity to vote on the proposal.
The decision about whether or not to legalize medical marijuana will be made by tribal members in a May 20 election.
August 21, 2017
White Earth Reservation is growing hemp in northwestern Minnesota. The tribe has invested $100,000 to grow five varieties of hemp.
As the crop size increases the tribe plans to purchase an industrial press to produce hemp oil.
Feb 8, 2015
The Tribal Council or the Red Lake Nation voted this week to conduct a feasibility study on the cannabis industry. The Red Lake reservation is very large with more than 1,200 square miles.
U.S. Department of Justice announced last year that tribes are free to grow and sell marijuana on their reservations.
"They are their own jurisdiction and they can control what they do on their own land," said Assistant Health Commissioner Manny Munson-Regala of the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program.
"Whatever we do, it will be done very carefully," Red Lake Chairman Darrell Seki Sr. announced