Pinoleville Pomo Nation hires security team at marijuana farm

A cannabis plant. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikipedia

The Ukiah Daily Journal continues its exclusive look at the marijuana operation on the Pinoleville Pomo Nation in California.

The tribe gave the paper extensive access to the Pinoleville Medical Cannabis Project. The operation has started small, with no more than 50 plants on the ground in order to avoid enforcement action in Mendocino County.

Despite the small size of the business, the tribe has hired 24 people to serve as security for the operation, the paper said. Even more could be hired as the tribe seeks to establish a secure economy.

“This is about providing economic opportunities so the tribe can do the things that any government wants to do – provide housing, education and security for its people,” President Mike Canales told the paper.

The tribe passed its own laws to legalize and regulate the drug. The goal was to be consistent with a Department of Justice that opened the door for marijuana in Indian Country.

“The project monies will not and cannot benefit individuals. Not one penny of our cannabis project can be distributed to tribal members, per the guidelines of the tribal ordinance,” Canales told the paper. He estimated that the tribe has spent $900,000 on the operation so far.

Not everyone is happy with the tribe's efforts. Sheriff Tom Allman contends he can enforce a local law known as 9.31 that bars more than 25 plants from being grown on a particular parcel.

The tribe wanted to plant upwards of 200 plants but so far is sticking to the limit instead of inviting a jurisdictional fight at this time.

Some of the tribe's own people don't support the project either. They have petitioned Bureau of Indian Affairs in hopes of organizing their own group under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act.

The group has 19 members -- some of whom were disenrolled from the tribe, the paper said. The BIA just closed a comment period on the request but there is no timeline for a decision.

Get the Story:
Growing green: Pinoleville cannabis project to support tribal infrastructure, community nonprofits (The Ukiah Daily Journal 7/17)
Pinoleville asked to move pot plants (The Ukiah Daily Journal 7/16)
Cannabis: Taking the ‘harm’ out of ‘pharm’ (The Ukiah Daily Journal 7/16)
Former Pinoleville tribal members want their own tribe (The Ukiah Daily Journal 7/15)
‘United’ state of cannabis: Consulting company points to patient successes (The Ukiah Daily Journal 7/14)
Making medicine (The Ukiah Daily Journal 7/14)

Federal Register Notice:
Whether A Group Asserting Residency on the Pinoleville Rancheria Is Eligible To Organize as a Tribe Under the Indian Reorganization Act (5/14)

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