Members of the Crow Tribe are seeking to open the first cannabis dispensary on tribal land more than eight months after adult-use sales began in Montana, KTVQ reports. Silverleaf Apsaalooke submitted the plans several months ago but are still awaiting approval from the Crow Tribe.
Dylan Jefferson, a partner in Silverleaf, noted that the land they are hoping to start the business on is owned by a non-tribal member and that the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribe “supposedly” don’t have jurisdiction over the site.
The tribe was the first indigenous nation in Montana to pass an ordinance to allow dispensaries after voters approved the reforms in 2020. The state Legislature passed a law that same month allowing one cannabis business license to each tribal government in the state; however, those licenses are restricted to the lowest cultivation tier structure under the state’s adult-use cannabis law.
So far, however, the business has not been able to get approval from the tribe, which the state Department of Revenue is requiring because customers would have to pass through tribal lands in order to get to the shop. The agency is also requiring permission from Big Horn County.
Jefferson said because the business is privately owned it would not affect the tribe’s ability to get their own license. He described the silence from the tribe as frustrating.
James Vallie, another partner in Silverleaf, told KTVQ that the business owners are ready to “turn on the lights right now.”
“We just need that letter (from the tribe) or the state just needs to give us the license,” he said.
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