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US (NM): Bright Green builds 5.8 million sq. ft. greenhouse in Acoma Pueblo
Together, Bright Green and Acoma Pueblo are creating a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility and research center for medicinal plants. It will be constructed on approximately 150 acres of the Acoma Indian Reservation and will grow up to 40 million plants per year.
The Bright Green development will cost more than $160 million and cover 5.8 million square feet, which is the equivalent of 4,000 average size homes. During its two-year construction phase, the project will create more than 1,200 direct and indirect jobs in an area where employment is greatly needed. After construction completes, operating the facility will create high tech jobs for the region and new opportunities for universities to collaborate with the MJ Brown Research Center.
Development is funded entirely by private investors, brought together by the Bright Green Regional Center LLC, through a United States job creation program called EB-5. Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program issues visas to participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
“New Mexico and the Acoma need jobs,” said John Stockwell, Chief Executive Officer of the Bright Green Group. “The EB-5 Program is a perfect fit because it allows us to bring in money from investors to create jobs on Acoma land. You can't build on federal land with borrowed money, so everyone involved believes in the value of this project for investors, for the Acoma and for the state of New Mexico.”
“This is a global project for our reservation that will increase quality of life for tribal members,” said Chris Ahmie, Business Development Officer for Acoma Business Enterprises. “In addition to building the greenhouse, which is the core of the project, Bright Green is helping us build gas and electric utilities on the reservation for the very first time in our tribe’s history, and helping improve our water infrastructure.”
The fully-automated greenhouse complex will create high quality plants, and its power, water and gas utilities will enable the regional center and surrounding community to become self-sufficient. To achieve these goals, Bright Green brought together top experts from around the world, including Dalsem, the international leader in high-tech greenhouse projects.
“This project is extremely well planned,” said Jan Pieter Dalsem, Managing Director of Dalsem Complete Horticultural Projects. “The utilities are fully integrated, the operation is environmentally friendly and the climate is excellent for growing high quality plants.”
“Our business model is strictly focused on legal plants that have medicinal value,” said Stockwell. “We will research and develop the plants, grow them in our carefully monitored facility, and then extract high quality oil suitable for use in any product to benefit humans or animals. As the laws change and the business develops, we will be in a position to change our crops.”
Currently the Bright Green Group is in the process of licensing several herb, health and marijuana related patents held by the U.S. Federal Government, as well as securing its own provisional patents. The Group has been careful to not violate any Federal laws or begin operations without Federal authorization, since some plants will require Federal approval for research, production, manufacturing and sale.
Partnering with the Pueblo of Acoma brings numerous competitive advantages to the Bright Green Group, including the Acoma’s sovereign status that enables them to pass and enforce their own laws, and their extensive knowledge and experience in highly-regulated industries, such as casinos.
“In the casino industry we have very tight controls,” said Shaun Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Acoma Business Enterprises. “We monitor everything 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We will be incorporating all of our compliance, tracking and security best-practices from the casino industry directly into the medicinal plant industry.”
More than 500 gaming facilities owned by Native American Tribes will have the opportunity to distribute the company’s products, including a new line of beverages being developed. Bright Green is carefully designing its business operation and kiosk distribution system to be in full compliance with all Federal, State and Municipal laws.
“My role as CEO was to bring together the best in the industry to build a facility that is compliant, automated, environmentally responsible and keeps track of each and every one of the 40 million plants we grow each year,” said Stockwell. “This project is a tremendous opportunity for investors and researchers who want to be leaders in the medicinal plant industry.”
“Currently we have an affiliation with New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico and the University of Guelph in Canada,” said Lynn Stockwell, Majority Shareholder of Bright Green. “We welcome anyone interested in research or investment to contact us.”
“New Mexico is not a very rich state and everyone is trying to bring in new employment and opportunity,” said Cunningham. “I believe the Pueblo of Acoma will be the leader of that over the next two years for the whole state of New Mexico.”
“Bright Green is bringing real, meaningful employment and advancement opportunity to the Pueblo of Acoma,” said Ahmie. “This development will make life better for the current Native American community and future generations going forward.”
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