The Squaxin Island Tribe has announced the opening of its new on-reservation retail marijuana store “Elevation”. The store is the first Tribal marijuana retailer of its kind to open in the U.S..
The store represents the culmination of years of discussion between the Tribe and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board following voters’ decision to legalize marijuana in 2012. The Tribe has established a strict set of regulatory controls designed to prevent crime, protect safety, and prevent access by minors. Product sales are taxed by the Tribe with proceeds dedicated to essential government services. Through a compact with the State, the Tribe has worked to avoid jurisdictional gaps and present an integrated system of regulation to the public. Products sold at the store are legal under State and Tribal law, and tested, labeled and packaged in conformance with State safety regulations.
“This Tribe has a long history of working through jurisdictional issues with the State using cooperative agreements,” said Squaxin Councilman Jim Peters. “We’re pleased to be able to work with the State from the beginning on this one.”
Through its adoption of parallel laws and regulations and cooperative enforcement with the State, the Tribe has taken steps to make sure it meets the federal “Cole factors” for prosecutorial discretion, whose application in Indian Country was announced in the Wilkinson memo. “We hope this new revenue stream will create jobs and resources that benefit the entire community,” said Council Treasurer Vicki Kruger.