On Dec. 18, the Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs certified the voting results of the Cannabis Economic Development program, which overwhelmingly passed with 1,252 votes for the referendum and 198 against. The Confederated Tribes are now permitted to produce and sell hemp, recreational and medical marijuana for retail sale outside of the reservation. The possession and use of marijuana on the reservation is still illegal. The establishment of the cannabis business will be handled by Ventures—the Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation—the tribal business division. Profits from the cannabis project are expected to bring in around $11-27 million every year and also create more than 85 jobs for tribal members.
"We will develop a highly regulated, safe, profitable, and legally compliant business that will benefit our community and support much needed tribal service such as education, health care, housing and more on the reservation," said Venture CEO Don Sampson in a statement.
The Redmond City Council recently approved an agreement with the United States Forest Service to develop a new building to relocate the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center from Prineville to the Redmond Airport. The 7,000-square-foot building will be home to the dispatch center, which coordinates and supports all incident reports for the Ochoco National Forest, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Crooked River National Grassland, and the Bureau of Land Management Prineville District. The move will help the agencies better their response and efficiency to reported incidents.
On Jan. 1, Senate Bill 552 goes into effect, which extends workplace protections to domestic workers in Oregon. Bend-area Sen. Tim Knopp voted yes on the bill. According to a Senate Committee On Workforce statement, workers like nannies, groundskeepers, butlers, and housekeepers must be offered periods of rest, earned overtime pay, and paid vacation time. The new law also protects domestic workers from harassment based on religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin, according to a statement released by The National Domestic Workers Alliance. Workers needing more information on labor rights, are encouraged to visit the Bureau of Labor and Statistics website at oregon.gov/BOLI.