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Navajo Nation Judge Halts Hemp Farm Operations During Legal Fight


A Navajo Nation judge is halting operations at nine hemp farms in northwestern New Mexico as part of a legal fight between a businessman and the tribe's Department of Justice.

The judge issued a preliminary injunction against Dineh Benally and two of his businesses following a hearing Friday. The tribe sued Benally and the companies in June, alleging that he was illegally issuing permits for foreign entities to cultivate and grow industrial hemp on tribal land near Shiprock. Navajo lawmakers have yet to approve and adopt a regulatory system for industrial hemp, so tribal code currently prohibits the growth, development, possession or propagation of the plant.