Looking to get away–both in a physical sense and in a mental state sense? Looking for a reason to finally finish off that entire box of cookies in one sitting?
The Santee Sioux is opening the nation’s first marijuana resort on its reservation in South Dakota. The experiment could offer a new money-making model for tribes nationwide seeking economic opportunities beyond casinos.
Santee Sioux leaders plan to grow their own marijuana and sell it in a smoking lounge that will include a nightclub, arcade games, bar and food service and, eventually, slot machines and an outdoor music venue.
The tribal president, Anthony Reider, said, “We want it to be an adult playground, there’s nowhere else in America that has something like this.”
The tribe said the project could generate up to $2 million a month in profit, and work is already under way on the growing facility.
The Santee Sioux hope to use pot in the same way that many tribes rely on casinos — to make money for community services and to provide a monthly income to tribal members. The existing enterprises support family homes, a senior living community, a clinic and a community center offering after-school programs.
Sadly, tribes that want to set up operations like this will be forced to adhere to strict guidelines or risk their entire business, or even face fines or imprisonment. Under the guidelines set by the government, the marijuana will not be allowed to leave the reservation, and it can only be sold in one gram packages, one at a time. If someone wants another gram, they will have to return the barcode from their first gram in order to get a new one.
In the long run, one can only expect that the benefits will hugely outweigh the risks of tribal marijuana enterprises.