The mission of NICC is to provide education and guidance in collaboration with tribal leaders, industry professionals and elected officials relative to the emerging regulated cannabis industry, while advocating for parity on behalf of Indian Country.
Established in 2015, NICC was formed to guide tribal entities through the initial considerations and challenges associated with entering the regulated cannabis market. NICC’s initiatives include helping create self sufficient communities, decreasing reliance on federal funding and positioning Indian Country as leaders in agricultural industrial hemp production.
NICC intends to shift the dialogue from one primarily focused on medical or recreational marijuana in Indian Country to a conversation about hemp as a tool for economic development. Today, while there are more than 30 nations growing industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity there is no large-scale commercial production in the United States. The estimated financial benefit of developing a hemp-based industry could be a true game-changer in Indian Country.
Jeff Doctor is the Executive Director of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition, an organization whose mission is to educate and advocate for the rights of Indian Country as it relates to cannabis. Jeff brings two decades of business and political affairs experience. Driven to assist tribes throughout the U.S., Jeff works in Washington, D.C. where he developed an interest in the impact of politics in business and the direct relation to Native people. Determined to be a voice for his community, Jeff ran for U.S. Congress in 2010 as the Democratic candidate in North Carolina’s 9th district. Born to the Tonawanda Band of Seneca’s near Buffalo, NY, Jeff attended the State University of New York at Potsdam where the student-athlete graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 1995.
"Our purpose is to help Tribes navigate the complexities that exist when considering the cannabis industry as an economic development opportunity. We emphasize best practices, proven business models and legislative support, with our ultimate goal being to position Indian Country to optimize successful agricultural operations."
Allyson Doctor is a Public Affairs and Communications Consultant, specializing in healthcare, strategic business development and government relations.
In 2014, Allyson received a Master of Science from Boston University in Health Communications while managing Communications and Public Relations for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. With 15 years of leadership and operations experience at one of the largest non-profit healthcare system’s in the southeast, Allyson was responsible for the patient navigation center providing virtual coordination of care. In 2015, Allyson co-founded the National Indian Cannabis Coalition to create an educational and legislative resource for elected leaders. In 2016, Allyson launched 44N Strategies, LLC. Allyson is originally from the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne, and resides in Avon, Colorado. She received her BA in Communications from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Lael Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) represents tribes and tribal organizations across the United States. After serving as in-house counsel for a tribe and its economic enterprises, Lael moved to Washington, D.C. to take a position as Legislative Director for the Native American Contractors Association and Counselor to the Chairwoman of the National Indian Gaming Commission. Lael provides advice on tribal internal governance issues and economic development activities and strategic policy analysis on national tribal legislative and regulatory proposals. Lael is a Past-President of both the National Native American Bar Association and the Northwest Indian Bar Association. She is 2013 recipient of National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development “40 Under 40” and is currently based in Washington, D.C.
"It is critical to understand both the complicated jurisdictional issues surrounding Indian Country and the legal gray area of the cannabis industry. Each tribal approach will be different and tribes and their potential partner must engage legal advisors who understand these complications. This is an art form. Failure to understand and appreciate these nuances leads to bad results for everyone."
We’re an advocacy group with a focus on the unique interests, needs and legal and regulatory compliance of federally recognized tribes exploring the cannabis industry.
NICC also intends to highlight industrial hemp as a tool for economic development. Today, while there are more than 30 nations growing industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity there is no large-scale commercial production in the United States. The estimated financial benefit of developing a hemp-based industry could be a true game-changer in Indian Country. NICC provides Indian Country with community-based education to learn more about cannabis with public health and safety as a primary concern. Key to that education is understanding the Cannabis sativa plant and the differences between marijuana and industrial hemp. NICC explains the facts about these regulated industries from both a political and entrepreneurial perspective.
NICC’s focus is to guide tribal entities through the considerations and challenges associated with entering the regulated cannabis market. Recognizing cannabis as a rapidly growing addition to the United States agriculture industry, NICC provides tribal entities with valuable connections to industry affiliates.
NICC connects tribal leadership, industry affiliates, health professionals, investors and regulatory experts. NICC watches legislative developments Federally and at the State level, vets partnerships and offers understanding of Indian law and jurisdictional limitations; key elements of successful collaboration.