Monday, December 21, 2015

Native American tribe in Oregon will grow marijuana to sell at tribal stores off the reservation

A Native American tribe in central Oregon has approved a plan to grow marijuana on its reservation to sell at tribe-owned stores off the reservation, reports The Associated Press. More than 80 percent of the officials of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (largest red area on Spirit Mountain Community Fund map) voted in favor of the proposal Thursday. "The tribes are among the first in the country to enter the marijuana-growing business, a year after a Department of Justice policy indicated tribes could grow and sell marijuana under the same guidelines as states that opt to legalize," AP reports. Marijuana possession and cultivation became legal in Oregon on Oct. 1.

"Warm Springs’s plan is to build a 36,000-square-foot greenhouse to grow and process the cannabis. Officials expect the project will create more than 80 jobs," reports AP. "Annual net revenue from the three proposed tribe-owned retail shops would top $26 million, the officials estimated. The tribes say they will enter into an agreement with state agencies to ensure that testing and other regulations are consistent with state law. Sales are set to start in winter 2016."

Don Sampson of the tribes’ economic development corporation told AP, “Our main purpose is to create jobs on the reservation and produce revenue for the tribes. We think we will have a model other tribes will look to as they investigate this business and industry.” The proposal does not change tribal law that bans marijuana possession on the reservation. (Read more)

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