The former tribal hall for the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel is disintegrating; its stucco walls sloughing off like the skin of diamondback rattlesnakes, a slithering native to these rolling hills in rural San Diego County. The decay is a stark contrast to the Native American tribe’s economic development venture two miles down the highway: a state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and manufacturing campus. The facility sits atop a chapparal-covered hill, overlooking a pastoral valley with grazing cattle and farmland plowed into neat rows. The hub of the tightly secured compound is the former casino building, now the home of cannabis industry tenants and the Mountain Source dispensary the tribe opened last week.

Like many other Native American communities, the tribe at Santa Ysabel hoped to create jobs and a source of revenue through gaming. But when the gamblers didn’t come, opting instead for larger, flashier casinos closer to metro San Diego, the tribal community was left with 50 million dollars of debt and an empty building. Santa Ysabel then turned to cannabis as a solution to its financial woes. With the guidance of the 2014 Wilkinson memorandum from the Obama administration, the tribe drafted California’s first comprehensive cannabis regulations the following year. The tribe transformed its vacant casino, already bristling with robust security, into a cannabis business park.

Ten tenants were chosen from 300 applicants vying to locate their operations on the reservation. Advanced greenhouses utilizing a mix of sunlight and high-tech lighting were erected at tenant expense and manufacturing equipment was installed. Besides cultivation and production companies, an organic waste processor was selected to transform cannabis waste into marketable products. The tenants pay rent and the tribe assesses a tax on any cannabis products that leave the reservation. Proceeds from the enterprise are used to pay down the debt on the failed casino and fund tribal infrastructure projects.

The cannabis producers at Santa Ysabel were supplying medical dispensaries operating in the state’s grey marijuana market. But Prop. 64 requires everyone in the market to obtain a license from the state. Native American tribes and their non-tribal tenants are being denied the opportunity to obtain licenses, however, and are thus prohibited from participating in California’s cannabis economy.

“We were told by the governor’s office ‘there’s no place for you. There’s no place for tribes in the California cannabis market. You’re not included in the state legislation,” Dave Vialpando, the executive director of the Santa Ysabel Tribal Cannabis Regulatory Agency, tells High Times.

CA's Tribal Nations Are Excluded From Participating In The Legal Cannabis Industry

Santa Ysabel Reservation (Courtesy of AJ Herrington/High Times) 

Continuing the Cycle of Oppression

Virgil Perez, tribal chairman of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, says tribes are being discriminated against.

“I don’t think it’s justified,” he says. “It’s not because we’re a business that isn’t going to meet or exceed their expectations. It’s because we’re tribes. That’s the bottom line.

Perez says the discrimination is fueled by misguided notions that all tribes benefit from gaming– an industry perceived to be overtaken by tribal nations–or receive huge subsidies from the federal government.

“Unfortunately, when tribes are trying to get into these markets, it’s not just the state government, but the average person is looking at these things and thinking ‘tribes have enough.’ They don’t see tribes like mine that are out in the middle of nowhere.”

The reality is, Perez says, that most reservations are located in rural or even remote areas of the state where economic opportunity can be problematic.

Legislative Fix Unsuccessful

Santa Ysabel and other tribes considering economic development through cannabis joined to form the California Native American Cannabis Association and drafted Assembly Bill 924, legislation that would give them access to the state’s market. Vialpando explains the bill would allow tribes to regulate cannabis on their land and subject them to rules just as strict as the rest of California.

“That legislation actually matched the state regulation for regulation [and] condition by condition,” he says. “There was absolutely no advantage that tribes were carving out for themselves in participating in the California market.”

Tribes already attempted cannabis legislation in previous years but received opposition from law enforcement, local governments, and industry groups concerned that tribes would create rules that gave them an unfair advantage. Vialpando says their concerns were addressed in AB 924, and tribes were able to persuade those groups to either support or take a neutral stance on the bill.

“All the efforts resulted in legislation that all relevant stakeholders could agree with,” Vialpando says. “And if you think about it, who wouldn’t? Basically, tribes that are desiring to participate in the California market are saying ‘We’ll play by the same rules.’ In fact, any product that leaves the reservation and goes into the California market can be taxed just as any other cannabis sales product. And those taxes go to the State of California. They don’t come back to the tribes.”

But proposed amendments to the bill (prompted by objections from the governor’s office, according to Vialpando) would have forced tribes to waive their right to sovereignty, get approval from local government, and give jurisdiction to state regulators. “There was no way tribes could get behind what the state was proposing, so the bill went nowhere,” Vialpando says.

CA's Tribal Nations Are Excluded From Participating In The Legal Cannabis Industry

Greenhouse on Santa Ysabel Reservation (Courtesy of AJ Herrington/High Times)

Economic Development Through Cannabis

Tina Braithwaite, a former tribal chairwoman of the Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute of Benton, California, tells us that sovereignty is central to tribes’ status as independent nations.

“Our sovereign immunity is basically all we have,” Braithwaite says. “We’re out in a rural area. If we allow the state to take away our sovereign immunity, what are we going to have for our future generations? All the decisions that we make now are going to have either a positive or negative impact, and they’re going to be dealing with this.”

The Benton Paiute Reservation is in a remote area of Northern California near the Nevada border. Economic opportunity is slim. The tribe runs a gas station, but it only turns a profit during the Sierra summer tourist season. “There’s really not much more that a tribe like us can do, except for cannabis,” Braithwaite says.

The Benton Paiute tribe also passed its own cannabis regulations and has cultivation and processing operations on the reservation. On April 20, 2017, the tribe opened the first recreational cannabis dispensary in California. Braithwaite noted the Benton Paiute cannabis program has provided benefits beyond economic opportunity.

“Since legalizing cannabis on our reservation,” she says, “I’ve seen a decrease in the numbers for opioid, methamphetamine, and alcohol addiction, and our crime rate has dropped substantially.”

Perez is also passionate about the opportunities that cannabis can provide to his community in Santa Ysabel. Tribal members are already employed by tenants. The revenues generated from the enterprise are being used to pay down the debt from the casino venture, funding education programs, and improvements on the reservation–including plans to rebuild the crumbling tribal hall.

Democratic Assemblymember Rob Bonta, who represents a district in the East Bay, sponsored AB 924. He tells High Times he continues to look for a solution for the state’s Native American tribes.

“They should have access to the legalized cannabis marketplace that we’ve created in California,” Bonta says. “And to the extent possible [they] should be following the same rules as everybody else and have an equal opportunity to participate. That’s the goal. The details and how we get there have proven very challenging.”

Bonta says he agrees that tribes should not be required to give up their sovereign rights and submit to a local jurisdiction in order to operate a licensed cannabis facility. They shouldn’t have to request approval from a city or a county. They’re a tribal nation.

“How do you have them participate on the same rules as everyone else and retain their tribal sovereignty?” Bonta continued. “That’s where it gets tricky. And that’s frankly where we’ve fallen short in years past— answering that question. That’s the crux of the problem.”

What About Social Equity?

The irony of state policy which denies Native American tribes access to California’s cannabis market while simultaneously promoting social equity programs for communities negatively impacted by drug prohibition isn’t lost on Vialpando.

“We were at the hearings for that pending [social equity] legislation,” he says. “We heard from those underserved communities, those minority communities. But there was absolutely no mention whatsoever of Native American communities who have been the victims of disparate treatment at the hands of a failed Drug War just as much as any other minority community in California.”

Denying tribes the right to participate in the cannabis economy is also contrary to one of the goals of legalization: creating a uniform, regulated market for all Californians. But even if left out of the state system, Native American communities pursuing economic development through cannabis are free to engage in intertribal commerce and market directly to consumers who visit the reservation.

While working for a better solution, cannabis operations continue at Santa Ysabel. The newly opened dispensary gives the tenants a new market for the goods. Producers on the reservation are still supplying to medical marijuana dispensaries that continue to operate under grandfathered Prop 215 rules that expired last month, but those customers are dwindling as shops without licenses are being shuttered by the state.

The community is also seeking opportunities in intertribal commerce that would include reservations closer to urban areas building dispensaries that are supplied by cultivation operations in rural areas. Vialpando says the tribe maintains a good relationship with local law enforcement, who are aware of the activities on the reservation and respect the right of the tribe to govern itself and engage in commerce.

CA's Tribal Nations Are Excluded From Participating In The Legal Cannabis Industry

Santa Ysabel Reservation Dispensary Courtesy of AJ Herrington/High Times

What’s the Solution?

Bonta says he is willing to introduce a new bill if a solution to the impasse over tribal sovereignty can be found.

“We need something that will provide an opportunity to succeed in ways that we haven’t been able to yet,” he says. “We need a gamechanger of sorts. It could be an idea, it could be a willingness to do something where there wasn’t a willingness before by certain stakeholders. But something to kind of spark an opportunity to get this across the finish line.”

Despite the challenges, however, Bonta is optimistic. “The problem is delicate and that’s why we’ve been working on this for a number of years without a final solution yet. And I say ‘yet’ because I still believe it’s possible.”

Other states with legal cannabis have been able to reach an agreement with tribes allowing them access to the regulated marketplace. Vialpando says he believes California should follow the example set in those jurisdictions.

“Tribes in Washington interested in legal cannabis have signed compacts with the State of Washington and the state appears to have been very respectful of the sovereignty and civil regulatory authority fo tribes in that state,” he says. “Likewise, Nevada has established agreements with tribes in that state similar to Washington’s mutually respectful model. California would do well to study the mutually successful models negotiated in Washington and Nevada.”

The gamechanger Bonta is looking for could be as simple as leadership from California’s federal legislative contingent. Laurie Danzuka is the cannabis project coordinator at the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reservation, the first Native American community in Oregon to sign a cannabis compact with the state. Her community is now creating the infrastructure for their cannabis enterprise and expects to be in business later this year. She credits Rep. Earl Blumenauer for calling on state officials to respect the sovereignty of Oregonians living on reservations, which are under federal jurisdiction.

Whether Calfornia’s congressional team will step up for their constituents who live on reservations remains to be seen. Vialpando is hopeful that Calfornia’s new governor Gavin Newsom, who took office this month, will support tribal access to the state’s cannabis market.

“We’re hopeful that the Newsom administration will be more receptive to respectful dialogue with tribes and the California Native American Cannabis Association in finding a pathway for tribes to participate in the California market under the same regulatory umbrella as everyone else,” he says.

The post CA’s Tribal Nations Are Shut Out of The Legal Cannabis Industry appeared first on High Times.

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1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.

CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.

2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?

Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.

3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?

Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. organic hemp seedsTypically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!

99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.

In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?

The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.

5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?

colorado growing operationWe feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.

6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?

Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.

7. What is the best method of use?

For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.

8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?

There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.

9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?

Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative CBD Oil Extractside effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.

10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?

As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.

When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.

The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.

For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.


11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?

In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.

12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?

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Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.

13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?

No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.

We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor thereCannawell.

14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?

Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†

Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.

15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?

We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. mjna message boardWe also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.

16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?

We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.

17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?

CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.

18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia

There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).

For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.