By Risa Johnson
Between massive illegal grows in Anza and a booming cannabis market in the desert, there might just be a sweet spot — for hemp.
That’s what the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally-recognized tribe in Southern California, is betting on. Last month,they were one of three tribes to receive the first-ever approval by theU.S. Department of Agriculture for hemp production plans.
The opportunity to grow hemp is a major development for the Santa Rosa tribe, which does not have a casino and got its first cell tower in 2007.
There is plenty of space for hemp cultivation, with just over 100 residents on themore than11,000-acre reservation. It is located in the rolling hills of Mountain Center, about a 30-minute drive southeast of Idyllwild.