Tribal Voters Overwhelmingly Pass Cannabis Economic Development Referendum

Warm Springs, Ore. – Dec. 18, 2015 – Results of Thursday’s Referendum were certified this morning by the Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon. Despite winter conditions, a total of 1,450 votes were cast exceeding the threshold for a valid referendum by 346 votes. Of those votes, 1,252 were in favor with 198 opposing.
The referendum authorized the production, sale, wholesale and retail sale of medical and recreational marijuana, and hemp by the Confederated Tribes. The approval of the resolution will allow the project to move forward but does not legalize the use or possession of marijuana on the reservation.
Tribal Council Chairman Austin Greene, Jr., stated, “The Tribal Council sought the opinion of Tribal Membership regarding the proposed project and Thursday’s results gives us direction on how to proceed. Overall, this effort empowered the younger generation of Warm Springs Tribal citizens who came out in record numbers.”
The cannabis business will be led by the Tribe’s business arm, the Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation also known as Ventures. Warm Springs Ventures has been working over the past year to investigate and develop a Tribally owned, operated, and regulated Tribal cannabis cultivation and extraction facility on the reservation with sales only allowed off the reservation in tribally owned retail stores in the state of Oregon where it is legal. It is estimated that the project will create immediate and significant net profits ($11-27 million per year) in the first five years while creating 85+ jobs on and off the reservation for Tribal members.
Ventures CEO Don Sampson said, “The purpose of the cannabis project is to create much needed jobs and revenues for our Tribal community. The Tribe intends to be a leader in the cannabis industry and serve as a model for other Tribes nationwide. We will develop a highly regulated, safe, profitable, and legally compliant business that will benefit our community and support much needed tribal services such as education, health care, housing, and more on the reservation.”
The Tribe is working closely with the State of Oregon and federal agencies such as the US Department of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs to ensure compliance with federal policy, consistency with state regulations, and protection of tribal health and safety.
For additional information on the Cannabis Economic Development Project, contact Don Sampson, Warm Springs Ventures at 541-553-3565.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, is based in Central Oregon with a membership of over 5,000 Tribal Members from the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute tribes. The Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation, also known as Ventures, is the business arm of the Confederated Tribes. Their work includes venture capital, investments, partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, both on and off the reservation. In addition, the organization acts in an advisory capacity in all potential and existing enterprises affecting the Tribe.
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