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Shinnecock Tribe Receives $18M For New Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Image by Stay Regular from Pixabay

The Shinnecock Indian Nation will receive $18 million through a new partnership to build and help manage a medical marijuana facility on the tribe's territory in eastern Long Island.

Chanae Bullock runs Little Beach Harvest, the Shinnecock company that will manage the medical marijuana cultivation and dispensary. She said the facility is expected to open in early 2022 on tribal land in Southampton.

"The focus is usually where the money is going and how it’s helping: ‘Yay, everyone is happy because there’s money being had.’ No, it’s bigger than that. We are talking the know-how. We are talking professional development. We are talking resources. I mean, intellectual property of a publicly traded company is huge,” Bullock said.

The agreement is with TILT Holdings, an Arizona-based company that develops tribal cannabis projects.

TILT will receive over 11% of gross revenue generated by the Shinnecock medical marijuana facility, plus a sizable stake in their company for the first nine years.

Bryan Polite, the chairman of the tribal council, explained the importance of the project to the tribe.

"It’s to provide diversified revenue streams for the Nation, so we can become economically self-sustainable — not only fund the government but also some of these social programs that we’ve been able to bring to fruition,” Polite said.

The tribe is also considering a separate recreational marijuana proposal. It requires a full vote by its tribal members to create rules for local businesses to sell pot.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.