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Santee Sioux in South Dakota Set to Begin Marijuana Sales

Maureen Meehan



The Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe is poised to become the first Native American tribe to grow and sell pot for recreational use, taking advantage of the Obama administration’s offer to let all 566 of the country’s federally recognized tribes enter the marijuana industry.

According to McClatchy DC, the tribe plans to sell 60 strains of marijuana and is hoping for lots of visitors to partake with them. Tribal president Anthony “Tony” Reider said sales could bring in as much as $2 million per month.

“Obviously, when you launch a business, you’re hoping to sell all the product and have a shortage, like Colorado did when they first opened,” Reider said.

Minors will be allowed to consume pot if they have a recommendation from a doctor, Reider added. Under a tribal ordinance passed in June, adults over 21 can buy up to one gram at a time for recreational use, no more than twice a day.

“We really don’t want the stuff getting out to the street,” Reider said. “So we’re going to have like a bar setting where they’ll be able to consume small amounts while on the property.”

Even with federal approval, other tribal officials have been more hesitant to take this step—especially after the feds recently raided and seized 12,000 pot plants and more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana on tribal land in Modoc County, Calif.

“That’s a warning shot to Indian County that this isn’t carte blanche to do whatever you want, even in a place like California,” Blake Trueblood, director of business development for the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, said.

Many worry that while the Obama administration is alright with tribal pot sales, the next one may not be. This is a problem all legal and medical marijuana states face as certain politicians continue to expound on their plans to roll back the progress made on legalization.