Federal Judge Lifts Ban on Tribal Member Growing Hemp in South Dakota

hempU.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken this week lifted an injunction prohibiting a South Dakota tribal member (White Plume) from cultivating industrial hemp. The injunction has been in place for over a decade, since 2004.

According to Judge Viken, there has been a “shifting legal landscape” since the injunction was put in place, including severa states not only legalizing hemp, but legalizing cannabis for recreational use. Judge Viken also makes note of a federal change in law that took place in 2014, which allows the cultivation of hemp for resesearch purposes.

White Plume’s lawyer, former U.S. attorney Timothy Purdon, says the order is a victory for both his client and tribal sovereignty as a whole.

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