The agreement, which creates a framework for regulating marijuana sales, production, processing and laboratory testing on the tribe's North Kitsap reservation, still requires the signature of Gov. Jay Inslee to become official. Inslee could sign the agreement this week, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe will begin selling marijuana in a temporary facility just north of its Gliding Eagle Market, at the corner of Little Boston Road and Hansville Road. The new enterprise will be branded as High Point LLC and overseen by the tribe's Noo-Kayet Development Corporation.
Construction of a permanent marijuana store at the same location could begin by the end of the year, Noo-Kayet CEO Chris Placentia said.
While starting with retail sales, Placentia said the corporation plans to pursue marijuana production, processing and testing. An indoor production facility could eventually be built west of the tribe's The Point Casino and Hotel on Hansville Road.
"It's definitely on the horizon," Placentia said. "Our ultimate goal is to be involved in every aspect of the industry."
The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe joins a growing number of tribal governments in Washington entering into marijuana compacts with the state. The Legislature passed a bill in 2015 allowing the creation of the compacts, after memos published by the U.S. Department of Justice opened the door for tribes to legalize marijuana, provided they supported federal law enforcement priorities.
The Suquamish Tribe became the first Washington tribe to sign a marijuana compact, opening its Agate Dreams store on Highway 305. The Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Squaxin Island and Tulalip tribes followed suit and the Liquor and Cannabis Board was set to approve a compact Wednesday with the Samish Indian Nation.
The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe legalized marijuana possession for adults 21 and older last spring and began negotiating a compact with the state. The resulting agreement guides how the state and tribe will cooperate to regulate marijuana enterprises on the reservation and interactions between tribal businesses and state-licensed marijuana businesses.
Under the compact, obtained by the Kitsap Sun through a public records request, tribal stores charge a tax equal to the state marijuana excise tax. The tribe will channel revenue from the tax to essential government services. A tax exemption is allowed for sales of marijuana produced by the tribe that is sold to tribal members.
Tribal marijuana stores will be inspected by tribal police and the Liquor and Cannabis Board. Compliance checks will be carried out to ensure sales aren't being made to minors under the age of 21. Tribal businesses can buy marijuana from and sell marijuana to state licensed businesses outside the reservation and other tribal entities covered by a compact.
Legal marijuana sales will add another facet to the tribe's expanding business portfolio, which includes The Point Casino and Hotel, Gliding Eagle Market, Heronswood garden and recently-acquired Kountry Korner store.
"It's an excellent opportunity for the tribe," Placentia said. "It's another industry that helps them diversify."
The S'Klallam Tribe is entering a bustling marijuana market in Kitsap. Twenty-two retail outlets have been approved in the county and marijuana stores made $27 million in sales in 2017, according to industry tracker 502 Data.