By Miriam Raftery
August 6, 2017 (Los Coyotes Reservation) – An agreement to grow, manufacture and distribute commercial cannabis products has been reached between GB Science, Inc. and the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeña Indians. The Los Coyotes reservation is located in a mountainous area near Warner Springs in San Diego’s East County.
According to a press release, this is the first time a publicly traded US cannabis cultivation company and a federally recognized Native American tribe have announced a commercial cannabis venture in California.
GB Sciences will build facilities on the tribe’s land and receive 60 percent of the net profits. The tribe will receive 40 percent of the net profits. Ten percent of the tribe’s portion will be used to fund education for the tribe’s children and assistance programs for tribal elders.
Los Coyotes Tribal Chairman Shane Chapparosa said, "We welcome this important partnership with GB Sciences. They are the ideal partners to facilitate Los Coyotes' move into California's cannabis market. In addition to producing much-needed revenue and jobs for the tribe, the partnership will confer a distinct benefit to patients as we work with GB to develop strains with great therapeutic value."
GB Sciences John Poss said, "The tribe and its leadership are ideal partners for GB Sciences. We share the same attitudes toward the business, the same intentions for the quality of the product, and the same positive goals for tribe. It is difficult to imagine a better way to enter the gigantic California cannabis market."
The statement is subject to definitive agreements between the parties to be completed and executed in the near future, with the initial funding provided by GB. The statement indicates that all applicable rules and regulations will be respected and that appropriate licenses will be sought pursuant to California’s Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
While medicinal and recreational cannabis, or marijuana, are legal with certain restrictions under California law, all marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. The Los Coyotes band is a federally recognized tribe with sovereignty rights, however it remains to be seen how the federal government may respond to tribal cannabis ventures in California.
GB Sciences is a cannabis company focused on standardized cultivation and production methods, as well as biopharmaceutical research and development. The company’s website states that GB’s goal is creating safe, standardized, pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid therapies that target a wide range of medical conditions. The company also makes branded recreational marijuana products.