Tribal-State Marijuana Compacts Make Good Neighbors

By Anthony Broadman

As Washington’s legal marijuana landscape evolves, certainty has been evasive. So for Tribes who are considering wading into the pot economy, knowing that the state will not interfere in or try to tax new pot ventures would be exceedingly valuable. As we’ve noted before, good Tribal-State agreements make good neighbors. And that will certainly be true for marijuana tax compacts like those being contemplated Monday by the House Committee on Finance.


Just as critical as the inter-local peace that pot compacts would bring, is the acknowledgement from all sides that legal marijuana, grown on the reservation, is not subject to state taxation. It’s important for pot. But it’s more important for whatever sustainable economic ventures come next for Indian Country, whether it be agricultural like pot, or manufacturing microchips or aerospace parts—whatever value Tribes generate within their jurisdictions. The proposed legislation recognizes what a federal court almost certainly would, that “tribes [are exempt] from state sales, excise, and use taxes with respect to tribal commercial activities involving marijuana[.]”

And the certainty of that statement alone is worth supporting HB 2000 and Senate companion SB 5848.

Anthony Broadman is a partner at Galanda Broadman PLLC. He can be reached at 206.321.2672,, or via