Menominee ask court for decision in federal hemp lawsuit

The Menominee tribe released a statement this morning (below) regarding the tribe’s federal lawsuit over a federal raid and destruction of 30,000 hemp plants the tribe was growing. A 2014 memo from the U.S. Department of Justice allowed tribes to cultivate hemp and cannabis under eight guidelines.

The lawsuit, filed in Milwaukee in late 2015 against two federal agencies, asks a judge to declare that the tribe has the right to grow hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill. Menominee contend tribal officials had been transparent with the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout this process with many face-to-face meetings with both the former and current Acting U.S. Attorney.

Below is the full text of today’s release:

Menominee asks Court to Rule on Request for Determination of Legality of Industrial Hemp Cultivation

(Keshena, WI) – The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin filed a motion for summary judgment today in its lawsuit for declaratory judgment against the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”). The motion for summary judgment states that there is no factual dispute in regard to the lawsuit, and requests the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin – Green Bay Division to issue a judgment that Menominee has the right to cultivate industrial hemp pursuant to the Agricultural Act of 2014 (“Farm Bill”). Chairwoman Delabreau stated:

“This is a straightforward legal question regarding the interpretation of federal law and we believe the Court will decide this matter expediently.We are confident that the Farm Bill provisions require the federal government to recognize the Menominee Nation’s rights to cultivate industrial hemp.” A copy of the Tribe’s brief in opposition to the Defendants’ motion to dismiss and in support of the Tribe’s motion for summary judgment can be found at


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