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California Tribe Is First In State To Announce Plans To Grow Marijuana On Their Reservation

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The recent revelation that Indian tribes would be able to sell marijuana on their reservations was met with an uproar of both acceptance and controversy. You may remember that last month, the U.S. Justice Department announced that tribes could grow and sell marijuana on their lands as long as they follow the same federal conditions set for states that have legalized the drug. And now, a tribe in Mendocino County, California has become the first tribe in the state to announce plans to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

According to an article in The Sacramento Bee, Mendocino County officials say the Pomo pot operation will be exempt from most state and all local regulations, since it is on tribal land. The deal with the 250-member Pinoleville Pomo Nation authorizes Colorado-based investor United Cannabis and Kansas-based FoxBarry Farms to grow and distribute products from thousands of marijuana plants at the tribe’s “rancheria”.

Mendocino County officials were surprised by the tribe’s announcement. The county supervisor admitted he’s concerned about the size of the operation and the fact that indoor facilities like the one planned by the tribe have a bigger environmental impact than outdoor marijuana plots do.

As for United Cannabis and FoxBarry, they plan to launch two more similar operations in California, but they haven’t said where.

A tribe in Mendocino County plans to be the first tribe in the state to grow and distribute a large amount of medical marijuana.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat (http://bit.ly/14FRc8P ) reported the announcement late last week by the 250-member Pinoleville Pomo Nation. The deal authorizes a Colorado-based investor, United Cannabis, and Kansas-based FoxBarry Farms to grow and distribute products from thousands of marijuana plants at the tribe’s rancheria north of Ukiah.

FoxBarry president Barry Brautman says the operation will sell marijuana only for authorized medical users and dispensaries, in line with state law. The business will include a 2.5-acre indoor growing facility, due to be completed in February, the tribe said.

Many expect Californian voters to legalize recreational use of marijuana next year, joining at least four other states.

“The tribes are just getting out ahead of the game,” Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Hamburg said.

The U.S. Justice Department said last month that Indian tribes can grow and sell marijuana on their lands as long as they follow the same federal conditions set for states that have legalized the drug. Mendocino County officials say the Pomo pot operation will be exempt from most state and all local regulations, since it is on tribal land.

Mendocino County officials said they were surprised by the tribe’s announcement Thursday of the planned marijuana business. Hamburg, the county supervisor, said he was concerned about the size of the operation, and said indoor facilities like the one planned by the tribe have a bigger environmental impact than outdoor marijuana plots do.

“From an ecological perspective, that does not sit well with me,” Hamburg said.

United Cannabis and FoxBarry say they plan to launch two more similar operations in California. They have not disclosed the intended locations.

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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