South Dakota Tribe Votes to Grow, Sell Cannabis

Leaders of a Native American tribe in South Dakota have voted overwhelmingly to begin growing and selling recreational marijuana as soon as this fall.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe executive committee approved a new pro-cannabis ordinance by a 5-1 vote, under which a single cultivation site and a lone rec shop will be designated, according to a South Dakota TV station.

Customers will have to consume whatever they purchase on the reservation, since cannabis (both medical and recreational) are still illegal in South Dakota. The tribal committee discussed a setup similar to a bar where visitors could relax and enjoy their purchases.

There may well be legal hurdles for the tribe on the horizon, however. South Dakota’ attorney general reportedly insisted that it is still illegal for non-Native Americans to consume cannabis, whereas tribal officials have taken the stance that visitors to the reservation should be able to legally purchase and use marijuana.

These are still untested legal waters, since a memo from the U.S. Department of Justice last December opened the door to Native American tribes getting into the marijuana industry.

4 comments on “South Dakota Tribe Votes to Grow, Sell Cannabis
  1. Mountzioncollective on

    I totally agree Native tribes should be able to legalize-grow-consume-open dispensary for sales on tribal land and glad to see a tribe doing it in the right way!

    The wrong way to do it is like fox berry (Kansas) and United cannabis (Colorado) tried doing it with the Pomos in Ukiah California. The businesses and the tribe “wanted” to do a multi acre multi-million dollar advanced greenhouse operation growing thousands and thousands of pounds and then driving out of Native country for sale in California dispensaries. They have temporarily toned it back to 25 plants on each parcel to avoid conflict with sheriff but the companies lawyers believe the Pomos have the right to grow as much as they want and plan to test their limits in the near future.

    This type of action does nothing but breed anger amongst Local growers and could easily breed racism against natives, especially over the next 5-10 years when many of these illegal/shipper backhill growers are run out of the business…Many don’t realize but in many counties in California their is a renewed drug war banning all cultivation and tracking people down like common criminals…so when they see large companies making contacts with natives for industrialized operations while they can’t even grow 12 plants it’s easy to see why it brings anger amongst locals.

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  2. ricketyrack on

    “South Dakota’ attorney general reportedly insisted that it is still illegal for non-Native Americans to consume cannabis” Marty J. Jackley is full of crap. Read the memorandum dated 10-28-2014 and show where there is any mention of making that racial distinction. The tone of the US Gov language suggests cooperation with what the Tribal Gov wants if that is not in conflict with a compelling Fed interest. Furthermore a policy announcement does not a change of law make. Anyway, the race of the customers is not made relevant by anything in the policy directive, what’s made relevant is the GEOGRAPHY of the activities (on the rez) and the interests of the two negotiating Governments (Fed and “Indian”), and if the SD Attorney General is saying anything different he’s full of crap.

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  3. Shirleen on

    oh yes more drugs here in this area of eastern SD is what is needed. All ready the young people of the tribe are without purpose. This is totally irresponsible by the elders. And their cunning to sell to non indians for profit is deployable. This will tax the police. It will cause accidents in a all ready high trafic area. Start a real business and encourage showing up for work, taking pride in themselves is what is needed.

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