South Dakota tribe votes to legalize cannabis on reservation

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Members of an American Indian tribe in South Dakota voted to legalize medical and recreational marijuana on their reservation, according to preliminary results from the Oglala Sioux’s election commission.

The results of Tuesday’s referendum to allow MJ sales on the Pine Ridge Reservation will be certified next week.

Voters approved medical marijuana by an 82% margin, and 74% approved legalizing adult-use marijuana.

Assuming the results are upheld, the tribe will be the only one in the United States to create a cannabis market in a state where the plant is otherwise illegal. The tribal council plans to enact laws regarding how marijuana will be legalized and regulated.

Initial plans call for the tribe’s own MJ production and retail operations. However, it would license individuals and tax retail sales, which are expected to be in the millions of dollars each year.

The council will consider the issue March 30.

Meanwhile, a referendum to legalize medical and adult-use marijuana for all of South Dakota is set for November. If voters approve legalizing marijuana, the tribe would have a head start in growing and selling MJ in the state.

On the other hand, if voters do not legalize marijuana state-wide, tribal leaders plan to create a cannabis resort at the tribe’s casino on the reservation.

– Associated Press