Tribal Marijuana in California Conference: October 5 in Sacramento, CA

Tribal Marijuana in CaliforniaOdawi Law PLLC and Canna Law Group are teaming up to discuss the future of marijuana on tribal lands in California in wake of the raids on the Alturas Indian Rancheria and the Pit River Tribe in July and on the Pinoleville Pomo Nation Rancheria in September.

The July 7, 2015 raid in Modoc County, conducted by state and federal law enforcement, resulted in the seizure of 12,000 marijuana plants that had allegedly been cultivated by the tribes in partnership with a Canadian developer previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes.

“Large-scale commercial marijuana grows on tribal lands have the potential to introduce quantities of marijuana in a manner that violates federal law, is not consistent with California’s Compassionate Use Act, and undermines locally enacted marijuana regulations,” said the U.S. Attorney’s office of the raid.

These raids have understandably made California tribes increasingly reluctant to enter an already challenging marijuana business landscape. Marijuana remains federally illegal to manufacture, deliver, or possess. California’s Compassionate Use Act is a masterwork in legislative vagueness. And California is a Public Law 280 state, meaning that  the federal government has authorized state law enforcement to enforce state criminal law on tribal lands.

The Tribal Marijuana in California Conference will provide guidance through California’s soon to be promising yet presently rocky marijuana landscape, and will address hard-pressing issues: How can tribal leaders best self-govern on marijuana issues, especially following the Alturas and Pit River raids? What can tribes do to ensure consistency with rapidly evolving federal, state, and local laws regulating marijuana? Should tribal governments become more involved in the political process to protect tribal sovereignty to regulate marijuana? Should California tribes organize to protect tribal sovereignty to regulate marijuana?

Speakers include Robert Odawi Porter, a former president of the Seneca Nation and leading attorney on protecting American Indian tribal government sovereignty and treaty rights; Robert McVay, business attorney of the Canna Law Group, and Marc Burgat, a senior advisor with Dentons with extensive experience in public policy, government, politics, and business advocacy.

For a full overview of The Tribal Marijuana in California conference material, and to purchase tickets, please visit this Eventbrite page. General Admission is $200, with special discounts for tribal citizens and members, as well as tribal government officials. For more information on special tribal offers, please contact Madeline Williams at 206.224.5657 or

The conference is set for Monday, October 5, 2015 from 12:30pm to 5pm at the Embassy Suites Sacramento-Riverfront Promenade. Tickets are also available for purchase at the door.

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