Navajo Officials Set On Shutting Down New Mexico Hemp Farms

Sep 28, 2020

The Navajo Nation is not letting go of a fight against what it says are illegal hemp farms cultivated through immigrant labor.

Hemp plants are visible inside several structures on Sept. 16, 2020, in Shiprock, N.M., on Navajo Nation land. The Navajo Nation is not letting go of a fight against what it says are illegal hemp farms cultivated through immigrant labor.
Credit Noel Lyn Smith/The Daily Times via AP

A member of the tribe and head of the operation, Dineh Benally says his business partnership with a Las Vegas dispensary has provided dozens of jobs on the vast reservation that includes parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. A New Mexico judge, however, approved last week a temporary restraining order keeping Benally from running the Shiprock area farms. Benally called the ruling disappointing and harmful to the Navajo Nation’s economy. He says more than 200 members of the tribe are employed there.