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.