MN: Cannabis growing facility is now under construction on Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe tribal lands

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is looking to stake its claim in Minnesota’s cannabis cultivation industry. Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, the corporate entity owned by the band, announced Friday they have begun construction on a 50,000 square-foot cannabis growing facility on tribal lands near Onamia.

Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures CEO Joe Nayquonabe, Jr. says that with more tribes and states getting into the cannabis industry, it’s important for the Mille Lacs Band to have a presence.

“We leaned on our tribal community to provide insight into this opportunity, paving a clear path into this venture,” said Nayquonabe.

A national cannabis law firm, Vicente LLP, estimated the cannabis market in Minnesota could generate as much as $1.5 billion in annual sales by the end of the decade.

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Zach Atherton-Ely is the vice president of strategic growth for Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures. He says Mille Lacs may open a dispensary “eventually,” but for now the band will grow cannabis with an eye toward supplying other tribal dispensaries and state-licensed dispensaries once they are up and running.

Atherton-Ely says cultivating cannabis will help the tribe expand beyond their gaming business.

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