The Pinoleville Pomo Nation runs its business operations from Ukiah, California and derives most of its revenue from its casino operations. The tribe had plans to set up a massive marijuana farm that would span over 110,000 square feet and consist of a number of marijuana greenhouses which would be responsible for supplying medical marijuana to the state of California.
The tribe had earlier decided to partner with an investment company based in Kansas who was willing to finance the project which was to be set up towards the north of Ukiah on the tribe’s rancheria. The tribe kick-started the project earlier this week but has decided to cut back on the scale of the project for now and start small.
The tribe has already created a non-profit organization that will be responsible for the medical marijuana project. The operation will be broken down into cultivating twenty five plants on each parcel of land spread throughout the ninety nine acre rancheria. Mike Canales who heads the business board of the tribe will be responsible for overseeing the project and wants to keep things small during the initial stages of the project to ensure that they stay well within the law and do not draw any un-necessary attention from the authorities.
The tribe also has the option of further expanding its marijuana project and using an additional 100 acres which is located close to a residential sub-division. Although the tribe owns this land, it has promised residents that it will not use this portion of the land for marijuana cultivation.
Voters in California are expected to have the final say on the legalization of medical marijuana or recreational pot during 2016 and many believe that it is just a matter of time before the law is changed. There are also a number of other states in the nation who are also debating the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana and if they decide to permit medical marijuana it could create a massive market for the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.
A number of tribes all over the nation want to capitalize on this potential medical marijuana market and develop another lucrative way of generating income. Tribes are currently making plans and looking for financial partners who will help them set up these massive medical marijuana farms on their reservations and help them be prepared to produce massive volumes of marijuana should the need arise.
The Pinoleville Pomo Nation wants to be cautious though as the tribe is still not clear what the law allows and does not allow when it comes to the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana. Canales recently met with Tom Allman, who is the Sheriff of Mendocino County but at the end of their discussion, both parties were unable to determine what is permitted and not permitted under law as of now.
The biggest dispute right now is based on the number of plants per parcel that is allowed in California. The Sheriff states that the tribe must abide as per the rules of 25 plants per parcel just like everyone else in the county but Canales disagrees with the stipulation stating that the tribe is a sovereign nation and does not have to follow the law set by the county. However for the time being Canales has agreed to go with 25 plants per parcel but plans to increase those numbers once he gets more clarification on the law.
The tribe has also confirmed that it has plans to construct a medical marijuana dispensary that will allow them to fill prescriptions that require pot-based pills and edibles.