Cannabis Chronicles Blog

Suquamish Tribe signs nation’s first state-tribal marijuana compact

Sally jewell,right, the U.S. Department of Interior secretary is escorted by Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman as she visited with nine local tribes in Suquamish on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/ Kitsap Sun, Rachel Anne Seymour)
Sally jewell,right, the U.S. Department of Interior secretary is escorted by Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman as she visited with nine local tribes in Suquamish on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/ Kitsap Sun, Rachel Anne Seymour)

Well, here’s something we haven’t seen before in the wide world of legal weed.

The Suquamish Tribe just signed the first state-tribal marijuana compact in the nation, the Liquor and Cannabis Board announced Tuesday. For more on what that means and what to expect next before any pot businesses get up and running for the tribe, take a look at the LCB’s press release below. And you can read the direct document here.

- Justin Runquist

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (Board) and the Suquamish Tribe today signed the nation’s first state-tribal marijuana compact. The compact governs the production, processing, purchase and sale of marijuana on the Tribe’s land. The agreement was made possible by legislation (HB 2000) enacted during the 2015 legislative session. The signed compact moves next to Gov. Jay Inslee for approval.

“We believe that working closely with the Suquamish Tribe we can ensure a well-regulated marijuana market that protects the health and safety of Washington State citizens,” said Board Chair Jane Rushford. “This agreement is an excellent model for future compacts.”

The State recognizes the Suquamish Tribe as a sovereign nation and negotiated the agreement in lieu of licensure by the Board. Per the enacting legislation, a tribal tax equivalent to the state excise tax will be applied to sales to non-tribal customers on Suquamish tribal lands.

“Our Tribe always favors a collaborative and cooperative approach,” said Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman.”We believe that our relationship with the State, including this compact, will best serve and protect our tribal community, surrounding neighbors, and residents of the state.”

On Aug. 29, 2013, the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) issued a memorandum setting forth the eight enforcement priorities of the federal government which emphasized preventing access to marijuana by minors, preventing the criminal element from involvement in the industry and preventing diversion of product out of state. On Oct. 28, 2014, the USDOJ clarified in a memo that the same priorities should guide federal enforcement priorities in Indian Country.

Upon final signature, the compact remains in effect for ten years.