Acoma Pueblo tribal land in New Mexico.

Ian McKellar

Massive Greenhouse on New Mexico Tribal Land to Grow Medicinal Plants, Including Cannabis

Tribal land in New Mexico could soon be the site of a $160 million, 6 million-square-foot greenhouse that will cultivate and research medicinal plants including pennywort, Indian ginseng, and cannabis, the Associated Press reports. The project is a partnership between the Acoma Pueblo tribe and Delaware-based Bright Green Group of Companies.

According to the report, while cannabis is expected to take up a significant portion of the operation, the greenhouse can hold as many as 40 million plants, and supporters of the project explained that the original business plan was designed to sustain itself by manufacturing oils already popular in the homeopathic medicine world.

“We’re just in the process of building our facilities so we’ll be customizing our crops to what the market is most receptive to, but [cannabis is] definitely an important part of this,” Clarity Patton, COO of Bright Green said in the report.

The project is not subject to New Mexico law because it is located on tribal land; although it is still subject to federal law, and the agreement between Green Bright and the tribe mandates that any plants grown at the site need to be in line with federal regulations.

Bright Green Chief Executive John Stockwell said the team plans of working with the FDA to approve their “novel prescription drugs.”

“We’re not in the smoke business; we’re in the oil business,” he said. “To spend this much money and to integrate this much technology, we’re looking to abide by the federal rules. We want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

Construction of the site could begin as soon as Tuesday and is expected to take about two years.

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