New ideas and innovative business principles are our bread and butter here at Cashinbis. So when we caught wind of a brand new educational trade show specific to the Native American community, we knew we had to participate.
Native Nation Events hosted their first cannabis-related event, September 9th and 10th at Harrah’s Resort in North San Diego County. The luxe resort hotel and casino recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, and the new event center is a popular spot for conferences, conveniently located between the San Diego and Los Angeles metro areas.
In addition to being a hotspot for cannabis, the Southwest is indisputably the epicenter of modern Native America; with several major tribes active in Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California, Tribal Councils are actively on the lookout for lucrative, accessible and climate-appropriate new ventures in order to secure a prosperous financial future for their respective tribes. Cue the cannabis industry and its nearly unlimited potential.
Unlike many cannabis expos that cater largely to the vendors, host company Native Nation Events really went out of their way to stock this speaker lineup with in-depth seminars. Each session offered a wealth of information, and the session seats were filled almost all day, between meals and the brief networking breaks.
Most notably, Tom Fleming (former FinCEN Assistant Director) gave an eye-opening explanation of exactly what it means to launder money, and how to avoid accidentally getting into it by doing business in our industry. He cleared up misconceptions that banks absolutely won’t do business with cannabis at all; rather, he explained that banks are still wary, due to federal guidelines, but will in fact consider working with companies who are 100% compliant with state law.
Other great sessions included talks on tribal sovereignty and cultural issues to be aware of when integrating cannabis into their world, advantages that the tribes have in this industry over the rest of the United States, understanding the difference between marijuana and hemp, and cannabis economy basics.
Each speaker brought something different to the table, and whether or not they were a member of a tribe, most also tried to speak on issues that related directly to the Native American audience. For example, Dr. Sue Sisley elaborated on her FDA-approved study on the effects of cannabis on veterans with PTSD, adding that it would be advantageous for Native American tribes to start thinking about offering their lands for federal research, due to all the restrictions on labs off the reservation. This is one of several opportunities that the Native community has been presented with due to their unique federal status.
Focus On Tribes
Though we got some great networking in with others in the industry, we are exceedingly glad that the focus remained on the tribes rather than on the vendors. Making the industry approachable, accessible, respectful, and teachable is what we are all about, and Native Nation Events did a great job of balancing a great marketing opportunity with a respectful and educational atmosphere.
Tribal leaders and members that we spoke to were open-minded individuals, some of whom were hearing about cannabis for the very first time. They share the hope that cannabis and hemp can potentially be a reinterpretation of the casino for their culture, ushering in new jobs, new uses for their land, and perhaps even a healthy alternative to alcohol and prescription pain medications, the abuse of which has negatively and disproportionately impacted Native Americans just like many other minority groups.
For the tribes that are already going about doing business in this space – we commend you. It’s certainly not easy, but like many of you, we believe that this plant heals nations and has exciting potential as an entrepreneurial venture.
We hope that this was a successful event for the Native American attendees, and will certainly keep this growing movement on our radar.