Oregon Tribal Coalition Approves Marijuana Venture

More Native American tribes are getting into cannabis.

Members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon overwhelmingly voted last week to build a giant cultivation facility that would sell product through three tribal-owned stores in Portland and other locations off the reservation, the Associated Press reported.

The confederation plans to build a 36,000-square-foot cannabis cultivation greenhouse. The three stores would generate more than $26 million in annual sales, while the project would create more than 80 jobs, officials estimated.

The tribes said they would take measures to make sure testing and other regulations meet state standards. Sales are expected to begin late next year.

This year, at least some half-dozen tribes have legalized marijuana or looked into cannabis-related projects, the AP reported, but many have had false starts. The first Native American marijuana shop opened for business in Washington State last month, at the Squaxin Island Reservation southwest from Seattle, and many more are expected to make similar moves over the coming year.

But so far, the only truly viable tribal cannabis business plans have emerged in states where cannabis – either medical or recreational – is already legal.