The Ely Times

This is a historic time for equal rights of Native Americans and for the Ely Shoshone Tribe.

Even with a valid Nevada State medical marijuana card, Native Americans could still be prosecuted for medical or recreational marijuana and had no clear safe path to the same medicine non-tribal members have. On Nov 1, The Ely Shoshone medical marijuana program was added to the Nevada Department of Health list of “states and jurisdictions” whose medical programs meet all the Nevada State requirements to be recognized for reciprocity.

This allows for state licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to recognize the Tribe’s patient’s cards and allows the card holder to purchase medicine from Nevada State dispensaries.

It gives access to medicine for tribal members who desire an alternative to opioids and other addictive, nontraditional medicines.

For over a year and a half, the Ely Shoshone Tribal Council has been working with Tribal Cannabis Consulting, and Complete Compliance Technology (a cannabis compliance software company) to not only provide safe access to medicine for tribal members, but to also eliminate illegal marijuana trafficking and production on tribal lands.

This is the first program in the United States to successfully issue medical marijuana cards to tribal members with qualifying ailments, after a recommendation from a licensed Nevada physician.

The Chairman, Alvin Marques, has worked tirelessly to see this program be built as he sees the potential to not only protect the tribal members from prosecution for utilizing this natural and alternative medicine, and in his words, “the potential financial impact it will have for not only this generation, but for generations to come.”

Keeping with tradition, The Chairman and Tribal Council must make decisions by considering not only the current tribal members, but the members five generations into the future.

The tribe currently has one business from which it generates income for their community, the Silver Sage Truck Stop, but as a large commercial truck stop is now being constructed less than half a mile from their store, the financial impact this will have on the tribe must be actively addressed and the Chairman and Tribal Council have sought to find ways to fund tribal programs and replace potential lost revenues.