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Fallon Tribe Makes Move Toward Recreational Cannabis 

Fallon Tribe Makes Move Toward Recreational Cannabis 
Fallon Tribal Council met Tuesday night to consider an ordinance regarding marijuana use

The Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe took a first step Tuesday at their regular Tribal Council meeting toward getting into the recreational cannabis business in Fallon. 

Voting 4-1 with Chairwoman Cathi Tuni abstaining, the council approved a new Title 17 in the Law & Order Code regarding the Use of Marijuana, through the passage of Resolution 21-F-153.  

The topic had been on last month’s agenda but there were still questions regarding specific provisions which led to the council tabling the matter.  

The Tribe has also held a public meeting that Tuni said had gotten fairly heated. “This is a contentious item, a lot of our members go back in our history with the use of plants for traditional, medicinal uses. On the other side of the issue is opposition to recreational use, and another side is the financial benefits,” she said. “I have tried to stay neutral and council members to voice their opinions but not make personal attacks, to keep the discussion civil.”  

According to Phillip Johnson, council member, the revenue generated from the sale of marijuana would be used for essential government services and programs, as well as social programs. “With a 6.5 million budget, we don’t want to draw down the settlement fund,” he said. “The costs for education, senior services, the clinic, administration, all need to come from tax revenue.”  

During public comment, several tribal members made remarks about the Fallon Tribal Development Corporation that runs Fox Peak, and whether or not the FTDC could be trusted. 

“They are selling cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol now, which in my opinion,” said Johnson, “are worse than this. This is a business decision.”  

Councilwoman Margo Dyer voted against the measure with Tuni the abstaining vote, citing her teaching licenses in both Nevada and Arizona. “I’m bound by the professional ethics and morals of public education and so I must remain neutral.”  

According to Tuni, the tribal council has recently hired a law firm out of Nebraska, Big Fire Law & Policy Group, LLP and has been working to update all of their governing ordinances. “They have a lot of experience with these things, and I think it will help solve a lot of problems as we do the updates and then get our Land Use Plan in place,” she said.  

The newly passed action will go into effect on January 14, at that time the council will decide whether the Fallon Tribal Development Corporation or a different entity altogether will run the enterprise.  

In 2014, Churchill County passed Bill 2014-D, Ordinance 113 which prohibits medical marijuana establishments as land use in all zoning districts within Churchill County. In October of 2017, they passed Bill 2017-C, Ordinance 113 that further prohibits recreational marijuana establishments, and in October of this year, commissioners passed Bill 2021-E, Ordinance 113 prohibiting cannabis consumption lounges in all zoning districts. The county ordinance does not apply to the City of Fallon which allows medical cannabis, nor sovereign tribal land.  

The final ordinance language will be released by the Tribal Secretary, Margo Dyer and we will update this story as information becomes available. 

 

 


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