A Las Vegas-based canna-centric investment advisory firm and a company with Seminole ownership have forged a partnership aimed at bringing medical marijuana cultivation and production to Native American lands.
Electrum Partners, guided by CEO Leslie Bocskor, and Billie’s MCW, partially owned by former Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman James Billie, hope to advise Native Americans in states with legal MMJ regulations on how to begin operations and abide by regulations, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The partnership plans to start with California tribes and eventually expand to other states, according to the newspaper.
If the initial model proves successful, Billie would like to introduce it to tribes in his home state of Florida. Voters there approved a full-strength MMJ program last November, but regulators still are trying to set rules for the industry.
Tribes that are able to set up licensed MMJ companies would have a major advantage over other cannabis operations because of federal law, according to Bocskor.
“A Native American-owned business not only avoids the federal income tax,” he told the Sun Sentinel, “but the Internal Revenue Code … imposes an additional burden on medical marijuana businesses.”
Bocskor noted that some marijuana business can pay federal taxes upwards of 60%.
Several tribes have expressed interest in entering the medical cannabis industry, but results have been mixed.