Members of the Warm Springs tribe will vote in April on . It comes after after tribal councilors passed a referendum, 4-2.
“In doing so, also legalize the possession and use because it would have the store on the reservation,” said Jim Souers, CEO of Warm Springs Economic Development.
In 2015, the Tribal Council passed a referendum to produce and process on the reservation and sell off the reservation to the dispensaries in Oregon, Souers said.
Now, they are ready to sell their product at home.
“We would also like to be able to sell the product through our own store on the reservation and that would provide us with a more vertically integrated business, makes the business more profitable. Therefore, we can give more dividends to the tribe and create some more employment for the community,” said Souers.
The community approved the production measure in 2015 by the largest margin in recent memory. The hope is the new referendum will pass with the same enthusiasm.
“I see it works on the outside and it’s not really hurting anything, so I don’t think it’ll be any different here,” said Warm Springs resident Raymond Wells.
“Majority of people want it,” said Warm Springs resident Frank Smith. “I just hope it works out well.”
However, some are curious about where the money from the dispensary will go.
“I haven’t heard any plans and what they actually plan on doing with the money they make from it,” said Wells. “I know we’ve already about over eight years ago on it, but I haven’t heard any definitive plans on what they actually are going to do with the funds.”
Souers says profits go back into the tribe as a dividend.
“We’re employing tribal members, so there are jobs related to that, and then in the world of retail, again, it’s a new thing, that there’s taxes,” said Souers. “So, we can choose how we want to manage taxes similar to the state, and therefore, those taxes can be again attributed to the government.”
Daminwa is the brand name that currently features hemp products and is for sale online and at the Plateau Travel Plaza in Madras Daminwa means “for all time.”