The Nez Perce tribe is actively seeking approval to bring hemp on its reservation, which lies within the Idaho borders. The tribe is hopeful that its farmers will be able to get set up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to cultivate hemp.
Idaho is certainly not a strong champion of hemp. Even after the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp production, the State remains unmoved where the crop is concerned. According to reports, the State has recently killed a bill that would let farmers grow hemp.
However, Nez Perce can still obtain approval from the USDA to move forward with hemp plans on its reservation. The Nez Perce is a federally recognized tribe as one of five tribes living within the Idaho borders.
The tribe has been deliberating over hemp for years, with leaders addressing the crop’s benefits and its impact on the community. According to the Subcommittee Chair of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Law and Order, Industrial hemp carries the potential to drive economic growth on the reservation. The tribe believes that the hemp industry’s rapid growth is an emerging market that promises to bring economic stability and employment to the community.
Nez Perce has also been actively championing federal regulations concerning the industry. Chantel Greene, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Vice-Chair, noted that promoting sustainability is at the core of the tribe’s Climate Change and Energy Sub-committee. Greene said that they wanted to grow hemp while improving soil currently under agricultural purposes. Also, emp will be able to reconnect to a lost culture.
Nez Perce is not the only tribe to venture into hemp. Several other recognized tribes have received approvals from the USDA to pursue their hemp plans.