Warm Springs tribe embraces legal pot

A record-high number of voters participated to approve marijuana.

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A record-high number of Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs voters participated to approve marijuana.

As young people flocked to the polls, growing, processing and selling pot became legal with 86% of the vote.

Warm Springs is the latest Native American tribe to enter the regulated marijuana market. Legal experts estimate that no more than a dozen tribes nationwide have started up marijuana enterprises.

The Warm Springs proposal calls for production and processing at a facility on the reservation with marijuana sales at three tribal run stores off the reservation. Marijuana possession, while legal in Oregon, remains illegal on the warm springs reservation.

Thursday’s vote is the first step in the process of entering the market. The tribe will meet with officials in Gov. Kate Brown’s office to hash out the conditions under which the enterprise will operate.

(READ MORE: OregonLive.com)

Brown’s press secretary wrote the Bend Bulletin saying the state aims to “ensure a safe and transparent entry into Oregon’s marijuana market.”

The marijuana would be sold at three proposed retail stores owned by the tribes in Bend and Portland, according to Warm Springs Ventures.

The greenhouse is expected to be built and running by spring or summer 2016, if the project is approved. Under tribal law, marijuana would remain illegal to possess or sell on the reservation.

(READ MORE: Bend Bulletin)

The tribes won’t be allowed to advertise through the mail, though, as the Postal Service announced its rules regarding pot ads apply to all 50 states.

The policy, originally sent to a newspaper in southwest Washington, concerns Oregon and Washington newspaper publishers who routinely run ads for marijuana companies and now must choose between losing some amount of revenue or facing increased costs to deliver papers to subscribers.

“Based on our review of the (law), we have concluded that advertisements for the sale of marijuana are non-mailable,” wrote Thomas Marshall, USPS general counsel and executive vice president, in response to Oregon Democrats.

(READ MORE: Bend Bulletin)

RELATED NEWS: Is Oregon Good for Business?Bend City Council holds marathon session to pass pot rulesUSPS nixes marijuana ads in newspapers


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