Former Seminole tribe chief James E. Billie partners with Electrum to help tribes grow marijuana
Former Seminole Tribe chief James E. Billie announced that his company, MCW, is joining with Electrum Partners, a Nevada-based cannabis firm, to assist tribes around the country in establishing medical marijuana operations. The partnership is aimed at increasing production of medical marijuana without having to deal with the complex web of local, state and federal laws that are causing a great amount of complication and thwarting businesses from entering the market while frightening banks.
Billie believes that the medical marijuana business will eventually produce as much money, if not more, than casinos for Native American Tribes. He said,
“There’s tribes that ... already have the land. But they don’t have the funding. They don’t have the expertise. And they don’t have the ability to develop. It will be bigger than bingo.”
Since the U.S. Department of Justice announced that tribes could grow marijuana on sovereign land several have tried to no avail. According to Electrum Partners president Leslie Bocskor examples of business gone sour tend to involve over-reaching by tribes who misunderstood the law. He says tribal-owned operations that work within the framework of the states in which they exist remain on solid ground, and have built-in advantages over their competitors. One of those advantage is not having to abide by IRS Code 280E, which places immense tax burdens on retail companies.