I have attempted contacting the Stockwells, and their "Howard and Howard" attorney, with no response whatsoever. So I had my personal attorney attempt to contact them with no response as well.
-So Bright Green is Dark
-GNCC is Caveat Emptor
-City of Grants confirms there is only ONE greenhouse and that is currently be renovated for code reasons.
-Dalsem removed project from website and refers all questions to Bright Green. (At this point they have to realize it is a scam as well)
Not a pretty picture.
But let's say they merge with GNCC, go current and get Dalsem to build a greenhouse. They would then be building an illegal MJ grow operation subject to federal law. So they are going to build $200 million worth of greenhouses to not grow MJ?
This writing below won an award for summarizing the situation of tribal grow operations and federal laws in New Mexico.
Matthew Ramírez, Esq. JD, University of New Mexico School of Law. This article received the
2017 Helen S. Carter Writing Prize. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324181447_New_Mexico_Tribal_Cannabis_Policy_Politics_Guidance_for_Government-to-Government_Cooperation_in_State-Tribal_Cannabis_Compacting
This article is a full scale macro look into the entirety of BGG's situation in regards to tribal land and the State of New Mexico.
My very basic summary:
1) There is heavy political resistance from the New Mexico state government, unless a governor that is in favor of MJ legislation gets elected partisan cooperation on this measure is not going to happen for fear of turning New Mexico into the "new Afghanistan". Hence the reason they let SB345 & 348 die after minimal deliberations on them. Only one was actually even truly looked into.
2) The problem with issuing tribal grow operations, growers and sellers licenses is that the tribal operations would then be subject to state tax and legal regulations. Being that tribal lands are immune from state legislation currently, the state would be opening a huge can of legal worms by doing this. In order for the tribal grow operations to be integrated into the state MJ industry, both the state and the tribal leaders would need to create a tribal MJ bureau or a united tribal MJ office for all tribes in New Mexico.
The intricacies of this would be mind boggling: 1) Can the state charge tax on tribal products in the MJ industry 2) If they become a part of the NM MJ industry would they then become subject to state laws on the matter 3) in order for the tribes to join the industry their facilities would need to meet state regulations 4) Joining the MJ industry in NM would then be putting tribal land under the jurisdiction of STATE POLICE 5) The list goes on and on with these problems.
The biggest one of them all is that all tribes would need to create a united front for what they see fair in the negotiations and then go to bat with the state over them. So all the tribes would have to agree 100% over all these issues and then get the state to agree with them as well. Good. Luck. With. That.
3) I have touched on this multiple times but will say it again. The entire operation would be illegal on the basis a non-tribal entity would own and operate it. The fact that BGG is not a Native American company would make it subject to STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS. Regardless of it's location on tribal land. Not only that but it would then make any non Native American employee a criminal by doing business with them or working directly for them on this project.
I am not going to write 100+ pages on this matter but Mr. Ramirez did. Below is the citation excerpt talking specifically about the BGG/Acoma project and several reasons why it is not going to happen. My personal favorites being the whole criminal part andddd the Chinese EB-5 money.
256. But before moving on, it is worth noting and analyzing the 2017 agreement closed between the
Acoma Pueblo of New Mexico and Bright Green Group of Companies (Bright Green) for the
establishment of a $160 million and 150-acre green house and research facility for the development of
medicinal plant oil extracts, including cannabis, on tribal lands for the next twenty-five years. Susana M.
Bryan, The Largest Medical Marijuana Grow Up in U.S., Nearly 6 Million Square Feet, Breaks Ground
In New Mexico, CANNABIST (Feb. 28, 2017, 9:19 AM), http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/02/28/
commercial-marijuana-cultivation-new-mexico/74507/; Rachel Sapin, Large Medical Greenhouse on
NM Tribal Land Slated to Create Over 1,200 jobs, ALBUQUERQUE BUS. FIRST (Jan. 19 2017), http://
slated.html. Although it appears from the drastic simplification of the company’s website and URL
name-change, compare B
RIGHT GREEN GROUP OF COMPANIES, http://www.bright.green/
Jan. 8, 2018), with BRIGHT GREEN GROUP OF COMPANIES, http://www.brightgreengroup.com/
Feb. 2, 2017), that
the recent developments in federal cannabis enforcement may have chilled the momentum behind the
Acoma Pueblo-Bright Green cannabis development project, the company and Pueblo’s agreement
illustrates a prime example of the kind of tribal grow operating in the grey area of cannabis regulation
that is likely to garner state and federal law enforcement attention, and which New Mexico tribal leaders
should avoid establishing on their lands.
The Delaware-based Bright Green was funded by 125 international investors, primarily Chinese, who
purchased shares in quantities of $800,000 per investor in the company. Bright Green had attracted
international investment largely through its touting of the United States Citizenship and Immigration
Service’s (USCIS) EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, under which entrepreneurs are provided a route to requiring a green card by investing in a U.S.-based business venture at least $500,000 with a plan to
create at least ten jobs in the United States. Marie C. Baca, Acoma, Company Announce Massive
Greenhouse Operation, ALBUQUERQUE J. (Oct. 6, 2017), https://www.abqjournal.com/861776/acoma-
company-announce-massive-operation.html. The operation would have included a 118-acre fully
automated greenhouse, a 900,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse, a 96,000-square foot research
center, and a 12-megawatt power generation system. Sapin, supra. The construction of the Bright Green
facilities was forecasted to create over 1,200 jobs and employ about 250 people to tend plants, conduct
research, and develop products. Id. Bright Green also actively accepted resumes from the public for
employment opportunities in its facilities. Id.; Employment, BRIGHT GREEN GROUP OF CO.’S (last
visited Mar. 17, 2017), http://www.brightgreengroup.com/
. And, although not explicitly stated on its
website, there is no indication that sale of Bright Green’s medicinal cannabis oils would have been be
limited to within the tribe. See id. Rather, based on the size of the operation, personnel, and mission to
provide customers with the purest and most consistent plant oil extracts in the industry, all indications
were that Bright Green’s commercial ambitions are likely national or worldwide. And even though
Bright Green was expected to be able to produce four times as much cannabis as is cultivated through
New Mexico’s entire medical cannabis program, the joint venture did not plan on pursuing a license
from the state to grow in compliance with New Mexico’s medical cannabis laws and regulations. Bryan,
Applying the Wilkinson Memo, conclusions drawn from the case law concerning the central Indian
cannabis law issues, and Sessions’ deterrence-based marijuana enforcement policy, leads to the
following analysis. First, pursuant to the Wilkinson Memo, a large cannabis grow in a 118-acre
greenhouse, the extracts from which are being sold in interstate and potentially international commerce
is likely to trigger the federal prosecutorial priority of “preventing the diversion of marijuana from states
where it is legal under state law in some forms to other states.” Second, under United States v. Langford,
641 F.3d 1195 (10th Cir. 2011), and People v. Collins, 826 N.W.2d 175 (Mich. App. 2012), of the
company’s projected 250 employees and management-level officers, all non-Indians will fall within the
criminal jurisdiction and police power of the State of New Mexico for all activities and business in
violation of the state’s cannabis laws under the theory such activities are victimless crimes.
Additionally, because recreational and commercial cannabis operations are still unlawful and
unregulated in New Mexico, the civil/regulatory test of California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians,
480 U.S. 202 (1987), will provide no protection to the Acoma-Bright Green joint venture from the
state’s assertion of its criminal/prohibitory laws on Pueblo lands insofar as the company’s cannabis
enterprise will not fall under the umbrella of a medical cannabis program similar to the state’s program
through DOH. Third, assuming the state permits the Acoma-Bright Green joint venture to operate, the
state’s interest in regulating products being sold in and transported through and from New Mexico is
likely sufficient to permit it to levy taxes on the enterprise’s transactions under Coleville. Fourth, and in
the event litigation arises against the Acoma Pueblo or Bright Green by a state or the federal
government based on their conduct concerning their medicinal plant oil extraction enterprise, because
certain officers and shareholders of the joint venture are non-Indian, the company is not wholly owned
by the Pueblo, precluding the company from being able to claim sovereign immunity as a defense to a
civil suit under Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Cmty., 134 S.Ct. 2024 (2014). And its contracts with
private third parties may be found void as a matter of public policy should courts follow the court’s
approach in Hammer v. Today’s Health Care II, Nos. CV 2011-051310, CV 2011-051311 (Ariz. Super.
Ct. Apr. 17, 2012), 2012 WL 12874349. Finally, based on the Acoma Pueblo-Bright Green venture’s
stated plan to neither pursue permission from the state of New Mexico to conduct its massive cannabis
grow nor comply with established New Mexico medical cannabis laws and regulations, the operation
would likely be a large target for a federal enforcement to deter tribes from establishing cannabis
programs or businesses that go beyond the scope of state law. Considered together, the Acoma-Bright
Green joint venture presents a very high risk to the Pueblo and Delaware company of being: raided by
federal or state police authorities, taxed heavily by the state of New Mexico, vulnerable to civil liability,
and having its contracts found to violate public policy.