Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with 470,555 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 1,267 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join 313,334 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
How to Hunt
Learn more about how to hunt megatrends, ideas, patterns and opportunity.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 1,267 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join 313,334 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
How to Hunt
Learn more about how to hunt megatrends, ideas, patterns and opportunity.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Articles & Magazine
Get inspired with our 4,212 innovation strategy articles, keynote, videos and innovation tools.
Innovation Awards
Trend Hunter’s Innovation Strategy Awards recognize the best innovation tactics gathered from our interviews with some of the world's most notable business leaders, authors and change makers.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Innovation Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
FuturistU
Prepare for the years ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Innovation Books
Join 20,000,000 people getting better and faster with our New York Times Bestselling books and keynote videos.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Custom Masterclasses
Join the world's leading brands who leverage our custom programs to accelerate innovation.
FuturistU 5-Day Program
Become a Futurist with our immersive 5-Day program at Future Festival World Summit.
Online eLearning
Learn the fundamentals of futurism and trends with 100+ online courses about innovation.
How to Hunt
Learn more about how to hunt megatrends, ideas, patterns and opportunity.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
Follow-Us
Join our 3,500,000 social media followers, on the cutting edge.
How to Hunt
Learn more about how to hunt megatrends, ideas, patterns and opportunity.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our in person events.
Free Webinars
Learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 470,555 cutting edge ideas.

Empowering Indigenous Communities

An Interview with Mary Jane Oatman, Executive Director Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association and Indigenous Cannabis Coalition
Jana Pijak
August 3rd, 2023

Related Trend Reports

Health
Mary Jane is the executive director of two Indigenous-led cannabis nonprofits - the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association and the Indigenous Cannabis Coalition. She is also the editor and publisher of Tribal Hemp and Cannabis Magazine, frequently touted as the leading and most respected Indigenous cannabis publication.

1. Tell us your name and about your work with the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association and the Indigenous Cannabis Coalition?

My name is Mary Jane Oatman, and I'm a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and serve as the Executive Director of the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association where I have grown a network of tribal cannabis leaders to advance the protection of Tribal Sovereignty in the emerging cannabis and hemp markets.

2. Can you tell us about your role with Tribal Hemp and Cannabis Magazine?

I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief of THC Magazine, the nation’s first and only print publication dedicated to tribes in the hemp and cannabis industry. I founded the magazine in 2020, featuring my grandmother Alice Jeanie Warden on the cover of the first issue. My grandmother went to federal prison for growing on the reservation in Idaho in the early 1980s. Incorporating my grandmother on the cover of our inaugural issue not only paid homage to her remarkable journey and resilience, but also underscored the vital significance of acknowledging our roots and the historical context that has shaped the hemp and cannabis industry within tribal communities.

3. What does innovation mean to you?

Innovation means breaking away from the time-tested measures to explore a new way of thinking, engaging and executing to make “things’ and experiences better for humanity. Innovation is not always positive if it is backed by greed, so finding ways to create solutions that are based on an ethos of future-thinking is so important in order to leave this place better than we found it.

4. Can you speak more about your mission to expand opportunities and equity for indigenous people within the cannabis industry?

Our mission is deeply rooted in reclaiming plant medicines as opposed to “legalizing” cannabis. The sacramental smoking of herbs has been a practice of many Indigenous cultures since time immemorial. Smoking culture is nothing new and religious persecution banned traditions for many pipe carrying societies. So we are working to make sure our rights are protected.

5. How have you been able to successfully bring your activism to the business world, bridging the two?

The activism work that we have done is deeply rooted in ending the negative stigma and reefer madness campaign that has done so much harm to the plant. The more education and advocacy we do, the more we are seeing tribes lean into the opportunities for economic development. We have hosted two summits and over 5 educational panels at national tribal gatherings to increase awareness about cannabis policy, encouraging tribal unity in cannabis policy and networking the best and brightest of Indian law and cannabis law experts not just in the US but internationally. This has led to tribal nations supporting our lobbying and advocacy efforts in order to build resources and technical assistance services.

6. How has the cannabis industry changed over the years and how are the organizations you're working with pushing forward to promote more diversity and inclusion in this space?

The cannabis industry has changed in how we advocate. Post George Floyd's murder and national unrest, we experienced an awakening during a critical time in cannabis. Very few states were adopting social equity provisions and now it’s the norm. We have states retroactively working to include funding and services for those impacted by the war on drugs.

7. Looking to the future, where do you plan to go next as an empowering innovation leader?

Tribal organizing is not easy. We have over 400 tribal nations that are still fearful to address cannabis law and policy, so the next decade will continue with advocacy and education while navigating the bureaucratic measures to liberate the people and the plant. Until this plant is honored for the medicinal value that it has always had, and is no longer listed as a schedule 1 drug under the CSA, my work will continue to leverage our young people's voices to lead with common sense reform for plant medicines.