The Cannabis Commission gave their annual report last week to Tribal Council, reviewing events of the past year and looking toward the rest of 2017.
“Now that the Cannabis Commission has a staff person (executive director Joe Jensen), we hope to begin the process of setting up the business side of the commission,” the report says. Some upcoming projects for the commission:
Reviewing and making permanent the commission regulations; establishing a licensing and approval process, so the enterprise can acquire (cannabis) genetics; and engaging in the commission’s own consultation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
The Warm Springs Cannabis Commission is the regulatory authority for the commercial growing of cannabis on the reservation, and its sale off the reservation. This is done with the cooperation of the OLCC.
The recent annual report also discusses the background that has led up to the current situation, starting with membership passage of the referendum in late 2015. Tribal Council and Ventures next took several actions in 2016 to implement the mandate.
At first there was an ambitious business plan, with the goal of having the facility in operation by the end of last year. However, “problems with financing led to delays in the development of the cannabis cultivation facility,” the report says.
As the tribes worked though financing matters, the commission proceeded cautiously, so as not to spend funds prematurely. This actually led to a significant savings in 2016 from the originally budgeted amount.
Now, with the executive director on board, several more phases are expected in 2017. These include:
Commission consultation with the relevant state and federal agencies; construction of the growing operation; and the issuing the commission license to the enterprise.
Another important phase will be the establishment of the employee training program. Some of the eventual job tasks will be in processing and cultivation; seed to sale tracking; health and safety monitoring; and physical security, among a number of areas of the overall operation.