State House votes to allow Native tribes to participate in marijuana businesses

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington House of Representatives on Thursday passed by a wide margin a bill to allow the state's Native American tribes to formally participate in the state's legalized marijuana business.

The bill passed the House with bipartisan support in an 80-18 vote Thursday afternoon. It authorizes the governor's office to negotiate compacts with tribal groups that want to coordinate their marijuana businesses with the state's rules.

The bill's lead sponsor, Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, said the bill was needed after the federal government last year took the position that tribes in states with legal marijuana are free to set their own policies about the drug.

The bill moves next to the Senate for consideration.