Navajo Nation moves to shut down hemp farms amid claims of marijuana growing

By Craig Harris

Leaders on the Navajo Nation have cracked down on one of its members who they say has used immigrant labor to transform 400 acres of crop land into hemp farms in the reservation’s northeastern corner.

The crops — illegal under Navajo law — have pitted residents and reservation officials against entrepreneur Dineh Benally, who has formed a partnership with a Las Vegas company that says it develops hemp and cannabis businesses on Native American lands.

Navajo Nation leaders took Benally to court and got an initial victory last week: District of Shiprock Judge Genevieve Woody granted a temporary restraining order halting the hemp farming.

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