Washington Tribe Expanding Cannabis Business Interests

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The Puyallup Tribe of Washington State is entering almost uncharted business territory: Having already opened a testing lab, it will now start growing and selling medical cannabis to members of its own tribe.

Traditionally, cannabis businesses either stay completely on the testing or the production/retail side of the industry, so as not to create an apparent conflict of interest. In fact, many states ban the practice.

But that apparently isn’t an issue for the Puyallup tribe, which intends to test its own product for pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminants, according to the Olympian.

Any product the tribe sells to other companies will be required to be tested by a third party lab, under the provisions of a pact the tribe signed with the state. That would seem to give the Puyallups the green light to test the cannabis it will sell to members of its own tribe.

“We want to produce a good, clean, quality medicine,” a tribal spokesman told the paper.

The Puyallup venture is focused on tribal members with cancer, the Olympian reported. But the agreement with the state is open-ended and leaves room for the tribe to get into the recreational business down the road if it chooses.

The Puyallups are the third tribe in Washington to get into cannabis, and only one of a few to do so successfully nationwide.