California Tribe Building $10 Million Indoor Pot-Growing Facility

A month after the U.S. Department of the Justice announced it had no objection, in the actions taken by indian tribes growing marijuana on their trust-held land, Mendocino, California’s Pinoleville Pomo Nation reported it was constructing a $10 million dollar green house facility on its 99-acre rancheria in Ukiah.

The Santan Rosa Democrat was told that county officials were taken by surprise when news of the green house came up, but it wasn’t totally unexpected. Denver-based United Cannabis Corporation recently released an update that it had signed agreements with three tribes allowing the freedom to cultivate medical marijuana.

There are 326 federally-recognized reservations, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Around 115 of the 566 tribes acknowledged by the federal government are in California.

The federal government still considers marijuana as an illegal schedule 1 drug and continues to intermittently crack down on distributors and the farmers responsible for the cultivation of the plant. But the Justice Department has said growing and selling of medical marijuana is tolerated under certain terms.

One of the terms, for now, is a ban on large-scale production. Most marijuana in the California market is grown by individuals and small co-operatives, and further restricted by cities and counties in the state.That eventually could be lifted if California places a recreational marijuana proposition on the 2016 ballot and passes it, as its expected to do so.

In December, the Justice Department stated it still reserved the right to enforce federal law on tribal land which would have to depend on how large the crop size and yield were. At the moment the feds are the tribes’ only worry. A county zoning ordinance setting the number and location of plants does not apply to the tribes nor do any tax levies. The Ukiah greenhouse(s) will be a 110,000 square feet on 2.5 acres

The FoxBarry Companies stated that it was putting up $30 million as part of the United Cannabis deal to develop the growing facilities. United Cannabis will collect $200,000 in pre paid royalties and 15% of net sales as part of the licensing agreement.

The marijuana industry is so big that the tobacco industry is believed to be in position to enter. United Cannabis became a publicly-traded over-the-counter stock last year, but has been trading for under a dollar after peaking at $16.20 in March.

According to Forbes, it is classified as a smoking marijuana stock. They listed United Cannabis (CNAB) among the eight hottest publicly-traded companies in the “cannabis economy” in November. Some of the companies have been around since the earliest days of medical marijuana approval more than a decade ago.

It’s a wild west environment in the sector, given that the product is still, ahem, mostly illegal. A few pot businesses were forced to halt trading in recent months and the Financial Industry Regulating Authority (FINRA) continues to drive investors away from investing into cannabis stocks.

Mendocino County supervisor Dan Hamburg released to the News Press that “the tribes are just getting ahead of the game” getting ready for the legalization of recreational pot. The Pomo Nation facility is expected to be finished in February.

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