The first tribally sanctioned marijuana cultivation operation in Northern California – and perhaps in the nation – will be announced sometime in the next couple of days, according to the president and founder of a Kansas City-based economic development firm that works with Native American governments across the country.
The announcement will happen just about a month after the Obama administration made public a new, permissive policy concerning marijuana on tribal lands.
In a press release issued yesterday, United Cannabis, a publicly traded Colorado marijuana firm that grows proprietary strains and that is applying for patents, announced that it would be teaming up with Foxbarry Companies of Kansas City to look at three separate tribal cannabis cultivation partnerships on California reservations – one in the northern part of the state, one in the south, and one in the center.
The press release indicated that the first such operation to break ground would be the northern one, which is expected to be operational in 30 to 45 days.
No tribal partner was named in the press release, but United Cannabis also filed a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that gives a little more detail on the partnership. In it, the company names the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, with its reservation just north of Ukiah in Mendocino County, as the site of its first federally sanctioned tribal grow.
But Barry Brautman, founder and president of Foxbarry Companies, told the Outpost today that United Cannabis’ naming of Pinoleville as the tribal partner was premature. In fact, he said, Foxbarry has been negotiating with three different Northern California tribes – including Pinoleville – but a final deal has not yet been struck. He said that he expected a decision within the next two days.
(Side note: Brautman said that he is very familiar with Humboldt County, and has visited here often.)
Brautman said that wherever the first Northern California grow would be located, and despite the tribal connection, the project would comply with California state law in all particulars. It will be a medical marijuana growing operation only – at least until California legalizes pot for recreational use – and it would be designed to supply existing dispensaries around the state. No new dispensary would be opened on tribal land.
“I think it would be unwise for any tribe to get into the business if they choose to be cavalier and ignore all the laws of the state of California,” Brautman said.
When asked what new thing this operation brings to the table, Brautman said that the partnership with United Cannabis, and the licensing of their strains and technology, would be a huge boost up in what many would consider a saturated market.
“We are very, very excited about the fact that we are their exclusive producer in California,” he said. “We’re pretty excited to be aligned with United Cannabis.”
In addition to United Cannabis’ proprietary marijuana strains, the company also has acquired U.S. rights to several hundred strains developed by a Netherlands firm, according to an Oct. 31 article from the Denver Business Journal.
Brautman promised the Outpost details on its Northern California operation just as soon as a deal with a tribe has been inked.