The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, an upstate New York tribe near the Canadian border, has entered into a partnership with MMJ BioPharma Cultivation Inc. to grow cannabis that will be sold to researchers, NNY360 reports. Under the joint development agreement, the firm will lease and develop about 20 acres of tribal land.
MMJ BioPharma has applied for a permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency to import plants from Canada and Jamaica. The 5,000-square-foot indoor facility would be able to produce 40 tons of cannabis annually.
MMJ BioPharma CEO Duane Boise told NNY360 that the company already has an agreement in place with MMJ International Holdings to supply extracts for pharmaceutical manufacturing of its gel capsule for Food and Drug Administration clinical trials focused on multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease.
The DEA must still inspect and approve the site, which members of the Tewáthahón:ni Corporation Board of Managers said “could take many months.”
“The project with MMJ falls in line with our Tribal priorities, specifically in regards to healthcare, the treatment of chronic disease and the diversification of our investment portfolio. … An extremely valuable side benefit will be jobs that are created and tribal companies that will be involved in the construction.” – Tewáthahón:ni Corporation Board of Managers to NNY360
The agreement – a 25-year term – requires no financial investment from the Tribe but it will receive lease payments and “a percentage of revenue generated from cultivation and pharmaceutical sales,” the Tribe said.
Tribal officials said the project is possible because of the DEA’s recently approved rule changes that expand the agency’s cannabis cultivation licensing program for research purposes. The rule, which was finalized earlier this month, specifically opens licensing for cannabis cultivation for research and medical purposes.