While the Navajo Nation Council was debating the merits of hemp production last year, a coalition of private and public entities was quietly doing it.

“Right now we have more than three million plants on 300 acres on the Navajo Nation,” said Karen Elsworth with the Native American Agriculture Company, which she said has been given exclusive rights by the Navajo Nation government to oversee the licensing, cultivation and processing of cannabis on the reservation.

The company plans to open a dispensary Oct. 5 in conjunction with the Northern Navajo Fair. It’s located at the intersection of New Mexico Highways 491 and 64.

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Cindy Yurth ~ NavajoTimes.com ~