Tribe to Open Marijuana Resort on New Year’s Eve

A South Dakota Native American tribe that has been planning a recreational marijuana resort for months now says it’s scheduling the first sale to take place on New Year’s Eve.

The Santee Sioux Tribe, which decided in June to pursue the project, told the Associated Press that its resort will be the first of its kind, with tribal President Anthony Reider likening it to an “adult playground.” The resort will feature a consumption lounge, nightclub, arcade games, a bar and food, and grams of cannabis on sale for between $12.50 and $15 apiece.

The tribe estimates that the resort could bring in up to $2 million a month in profit, the AP reported, despite ongoing legal questions about tribes setting up marijuana businesses. That uncertainty is especially true for tribes in states where neither medical nor recreational cannabis has been legalized, such as South Dakota.

Regardless, the Santee Tribe is moving ahead as planned. The tribe has teamed up with Colorado-based Monarch America to begin cultivating 30 separate cannabis strains it plans to sell. A tribal spokesman maintained that everything is aboveboard and in compliance with the federal government’s guidelines.

“We are not looking to do anything shady,” the spokesman told the AP.

All cannabis must remain on the tribe’s 5,000-acre reservation and every gram sold will be packaged in a bar-coded container that must be returned before another purchase can be made. Only one gram will be sold at a time to customers.