Washington's Native American Tribes Get into the Cannabiz

Ten of the state's 29 tribes have negotiated compacts with Washington state.
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This article appears in print in the January 2019 issue and is part of our Cannabis cover storyClick here for a free subscription.

The opportunity presented by a new revenue source has prompted 10 of Washington state’s 29 federally recognized Native American tribes, which are sovereign nations, to negotiate cannabis compacts with the state of Washington. Five more tribes are in negotiations.

So far, five of the tribes with compacts — the Muckleshoot, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Squaxin Island, Suquamish and Tulalip — have opened marijuana shops in Auburn (Muckleshoot tribe), Kingston (Port Gamble S’Klallam), Shelton (Squaxin Island), Poulsbo (Suquamish) and Marysville (Tulalip).

A sixth tribe, the Puyallup, operates Medicine Creek Analytics, a Fife-based testing lab. The Suquamish tribe also operates a cannabis processing facility in Port Angeles.

Compacts signed with the state require tribes to tax their marijuana sales at the same excise tax rate the state imposes on all other licensed processors, producers and retailers.

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