Mendocino Tribe Plans Massive Marijuana Farm

The first truly legal commercial cultivation operation in America may be in Mendocino County — because, technically, this enormous Northern California pot farm will be not in America at all.

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation announced plans earlier this month to build a $10 million indoor marijuana grow on its tribal lands near Ukiah, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

How, exactly, does the tribe plan to get away with building a 110,000-square-foot grow facility? The same way the tribe and many others in the country get away with building casinos.

The tribal lands are, technically, sovereign nations. And in December, the Justice Department said it has no objection — “in principle,” anyway — to Indian tribes growing cannabis on their sovereign lands. That opened the door to a NorCal cannabis factory.

In Mendocino County, where marijuana is a significant part of the local economy, officials told the media that the news of the planned monster grow came as a surprise, but that the tribe “can do whatever they want,” county CEO Carmel Angelo told reporters.

It’s legal for farmers in Mendocino to cultivate up to 25 plants under state medical marijuana law, despite reports last summer of law enforcement eradicating legal gardens without warrants.

The Pomo enterprise is one of three commercial-sized marijuana farms in which Colorado-based United Cannabis and FoxBarry Companies are investing, according to reports.

Stock in United Cannabis, which peaked last year at over $16 a share, rose from 70 cents to $1.78 on the news before dipping back to $1.26 as of Jan. 20.