Tribe Suspending Marijuana Resort Plans, Destroying Crop

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A South Dakota Native American tribe that had announced ambitious plans to open a recreational marijuana resort at its reservation in the eastern part of the state on New Year’s Eve has now backtracked, saying it is “temporarily suspending” the project.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is seeking legal clarification from the federal government to ensure that it’s on solid legal footing, according to the Associated Press. In the process of doing so, that includes destroying its entire marijuana crop that has been grown so far, the AP reported.

“The tribe will continue to consult with the federal and state government and hopes to be granted parity with states that have legalized marijuana,” the tribe’s attorney told a South Dakota newspaper in a statement.

The decision to hold off on the project could be a new source of doubt for other tribes around the country that are also considering getting into the cannabis trade.

The interest by Native American groups all over the country has been growing since last December, when a memo from the Department of Justice was released that stated tribes would be allowed to explore cannabis business opportunities as long as they followed similar guidelines as states with legal marijuana.