Native American Tribe To Open First Marijuana Resort In The U.S.
The Santee Sioux tribe, which includes 400 members, plans to add a smoking lounge and other weed actives to its already successful casino, hotel, and ranch, creating the first marijuana resort in the United States.
The endeavor is unique, since even in the states with legalized weed, it’s not allowed to be consumed in public. It might be more like an experience had in Amsterdam, which has a bustling tourism industry crop up around its smoking cafes.
Leaders of the tribe are already growing marijuana on the reservation and plan to sell it in a lounge, which will include an arcade, nightclub, and restaurant. They hope to eventually add slot machines and a concert venue.
“We want it to be an adult playground,” tribal President Anthony Reider said to the Associated Press. “There’s nowhere else in American that has something like this.”
The tribe is located in South Dakota, where weed has not been legalized, but the Justice Department in June gave Native Americans permission to grow and sell marijuana.
The weed resort is expected to be open in time for New Year’s Eve, with joints to ring in 2016.
The tribe estimates the smoking lounge could generate as much as $2 million in monthly profit. The new enterprise could also create a model for other tribes seeking way to make revenue in ways other than casinos.
The Santee Sioux tribe hopes to use the revenue to redo their clinic, build more housing, and create an addiction treatment center.
Still, the Justice Department’s rules come with restrictions.
For instance, the marijuana products will include barcodes to ensure they do not leave the reservation.
And weed harvested on the reservation can only be sold in 1-gram packages, which consumers can only buy one at a time. To buy another, they will have to return the previously purchased barcoded bag.
The 1-gram bag will cost about $12.50 to $15, comparable to the black market weed in the area.
“[The tribe] must look at these opportunities because in order to preserve the past we do have to advance in the present,” Reider told the AP.
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