The Shinnecock Indian Nation’s efforts to open a medical marijuana grow and dispensing facility on their Southampton reservation will receive up to $ 18 million from a partnership with a cannabis company that finances, builds and helps manage them.

The nationally recognized tribe has already broken the first sod at a medical marijuana dispensary on property on the Montauk Highway. The tribe is also redeveloping a former landfill on its Southampton reservation into a cultivation facility, said tribal chairman Bryan Polite.

TILT Holdings of Phoenix, Ariz., Will provide up to $ 18 million to support the tribe’s cannabis activities, according to a joint statement by TILT and the tribe.

The funds will be used to build a 60,000 square meter cultivation, packaging and processing facility, a two-story pharmacy and a wellness lounge.

A TILT joint venture with Conor Green, a company developing tribal cannabis projects, will receive 11.25% of Shinnecock Nation’s gross sales from medical cannabis operations.

The joint venture will also receive 18.75% of the “free cash flow” from Shinnecock’s cannabis business for the first nine years of the agreement.

Free cash flow is the amount a company has left after paying its operating expenses and investments.

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TILT said there would be a “local preference” in hiring for the operations.

Polite said the nation ended its cannabis relationship with Verano Holdings because TILT brings “an enormous amount of resources” into the company that the Shinnecock lacks.

According to Polite, the pharmacy and cultivation facility should be operational by the end of this year or next spring.

In a statement, Gary Santo, CEO of TILT said the company, which specializes in the cultivation, processing and retailing of cannabis, announced its partnership with the Shinnecock Nation as “a step forward in creating social justice” considered for the tribe.

Santo said TILT’s “expertise in cannabis operations” combined with factors such as “the tribe’s cultural connection to plant medicine” will bring economic growth to the region while cementing the nation as a leader in cannabis operations among indigenous communities.

The tribe develops its medicinal cannabis operation through its Little Beach Harvest company, which, according to the company’s website, will offer cannabis products that are “disease and injury targeted.”

Chenae Bullock, chief executive officer of Little Beach, said the medical marijuana partnership with TILT will “create dozens of jobs and boost careers” as well as “cultivate business relationships with other tribal owners and generate growth for indigenous communities.”

The Shinnecock Nation is also considering starting a separate recreational marijuana business.

The 800 members of the tribe have yet to vote on the proposal, which would create rules for local retailers to sell the product.

Mark Harrington, Newsday reporter since 1999, covers energy, wineries, Indian affairs and fisheries.