One of Oregon’s native tribes will vote next month on whether to start growing and selling marijuana.
WW reported in March that the Warm Springs tribes, who live on land about 90 miles southeast of Portland, were exploring commercial marijuana.
Former Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who serves on the Warm Springs tribes’ economic development board, and tribal board member Pi-Ta Pitt launched an evaluation of whether a commercial growing operation is something the tribes should try.
Those plans are now more substantive.
The Bend Bulletin reported Tuesday that the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs will vote Dec. 17 on whether to build a 36,000-square-foot greenhouse to grow weed, and open three stores to sell their crop around Bend and Portland.
The Bulletin reports:
Research done by Warm Springs Ventures, the business arm of the tribes, estimated the marijuana-growing facility and three proposed tribal-owned retail stores in the Portland and Bend areas would produce $11.7 million of net income — profit — in its first year and $26.1 million in its second year, which would be the enterprise’s first full year of operation. Warm Spring Ventures projected the seven-year net income for its farm-to-table marijuana operation would be in excess of $173 million. The marijuana facilities, based on Ventures’ estimates, would easily become the tribes’ highest revenue-producing business. According to [Ventures director Don] Sampson, the combined expected revenue in 2016 for Indian Head Casino, Warm Springs Power & Water, Warm Springs Composite Products, Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa and Warm Springs Ventures is $8.75 million.
The full story is well worth reading: It explains how, if members vote yes, the Warm Springs tribes would partner with venture capitalists out of Orlando, Fla.
The legal status of tribal cannabis appears promising.
But earlier this month in South Dakota, the Santee Sioux Tribal Council set fire to its commercial marijuana crop after learning it was under scrutiny from state officials.