The Confederated Tribes of Warms Springs is getting into the business of growing and selling marijuana.

Tribal members voted Thursday to approve a cannabis referendum, said Stanley Speaks, northwest regional director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“We got the word it passed,” he said today. “That’s it.”

In all 1,252 voted in favor of the referendum and 198 voted against it, according to KWSO, the tribal radio station. That is about 86.3 percent for it and 13.7 percent opposed. The turnout of 1,450 total voters was enough to meet a tribal requirement of a third of registered voters casting a ballot for the vote to be valid. The tribes have a total of about 3,300 registered voters.

Tribal members were considering whether to approve building an up-to-36,000-square-foot marijuana greenhouse on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation near Madras. In its first seven years the operation may bring in more than $173 million in net income, according to Warm Springs Ventures, the business arm of the tribes.

And the project is expect to create at least 82 new jobs. Managers would earn $45,000 to $85,000. Under the plan, the marijuana would be sold at retail shops in Bend and Portland.

The reservation is the largest in Oregon.

— Dylan J. Darling

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