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Pinoleville Pomo Nation puts marijuana farm on temporary hold

An illegal marijuana farm on public land in California. Photo from

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation in California has put a hold on its medical marijuana farm amid discussions with local law enforcement, The Ukiah Daily Journal reports.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office have questioned the legality of the operation. But the tribe's partners remain confident of the project's viability.

"Our operations are legal, and operate under local jurisdictions and rules,” Barry Brautman, the president of Foxbarry Companies, a firm with experience in Indian Country, told the paper. “We anticipate working with the sheriff and district attorney on a regular basis. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there, but we are not planning on doing anything illegal.”

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But the Department of Justice issued a policy late last year that could allow for legal marijuana in Indian Country.

California falls under Public Law 280 so the state can exercise criminal and civil jurisdiction in Indian Country. However, medicinal marijuana is regulated under state law.

Under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, it would appear that local authorities might not be able to outright bar a medical marijuana operation in Indian Country but the issue has never come up before.

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation plans to host a $10 million farm that will supply marijuana for medicinal purposes. It was expected to open this month but Brautman told the Journal that construction will begin in about 30 days.

Get the Story:
Pinoleville investor expects marijuana facility construction to begin in 30 days (The Ukiah Daily Journal 2/11)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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