District Court denies motion to dismiss Nation’s lawsuit to stop illegal production of hemp
SHIPROCK, N.M. — On Sept. 10, the Shiprock District Court denied Dineh Benally’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Navajo Nation on June 12 alleging the illegal growing, producing, manufacturing, transporting, licensing, and selling of industrial hemp within the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation also alleges that Benally is unlawfully issuing Navajo land use permits to foreign entities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp on the Navajo Nation.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision as we continue to resolve this important matter. The Navajo Nation will continue to request the courts to hold Dineh Benally and his associates accountable for their actions. Local farmers and community members have raised many issues and concerns with the hemp fields, the San Juan Farm Board, and others that need to be addressed. We need public safety, the courts, and others to work together to resolve many of these matters so that our Navajo people feel safe and able to use their fields,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
As a part of the lawsuit, the Navajo Nation also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a request for a preliminary injunction to stop Benally’s hemp operation pending the resolution of the case, the Court will now consider that motion, according to the Sept. 10 order.