South Dakota Tribe to Open Marijuana Resort

The Santee Sioux Native American tribe plans to open a marijuana resort on its South Dakota reservation. The Santee Sioux are the latest in a line of tribes seeking to take advantage of a new federal law allowing for the cultivation, production and sale of cannabis on tribal land.

Santee leaders aim to grow marijuana and then sell it in a smoking lounge. In addition to smoking pot, customers will have access to a nightclub, arcade games, bar and food service, slot machines, and even an outdoor music venue.

“We want it to be an adult playground,” said tribal President Anthony Reider. “There’s nowhere else in America that has something like this.”

The resort is set to open on New Year’s eve, and could generate some $2 million in profit for the tribe.

Seeking to get the cultivation and production process right, the Santee Sioux hired the Denver-based firm Monarch America to help them with the basics.

“This is not a fly-by-night operation,” said Jonathan Hunt, Monarch’s vice president. Santee Sioux leaders “want to show the state how clean, how efficient, how proficient, safe and secure this is as an operation. We are not looking to do anything shady.”

The resort would be the first of its kind in the U.S. Laws against the public consumption of marijuana remain on the books even in states with the recreational sale of pot has been legalized, though activists are seeking to loosen them.


Photo Credit: Steven Coutts

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