- By Darren Thompson
FLANDREAU, S.D. — The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe opened the primary hashish dispensary in South Dakota on July 1, 2021, the primary day medical marijuana grew to become authorized within the state. South Dakota voters authorized Measure 26, the Medical Marijuana Initiative, on November 3, 2020.
Positioned 40 miles north from Sioux Falls, S.D. on the Flandreau Indian Reservation, the dispensary is being operated by FSST Pharms, LLC, an organization owned by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe.
“The grand opening of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s Native Nations Dispensary went very effectively, and prospects have flooded the dispensary all day,” Flandreau Santee Sioux Lawyer Normal Seth Pearman advised Native Information On-line. “The Tribe is assured that the regulatory construction it put in place will create a protected product that may profit prospects.”
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (FSST) made nationwide information after turning into the first tribal nation to legalize marijuana, this after the Division of Justice issued a memorandum in December 2014, stating that tribal nations might develop and promote marijuana so long as the states they’re in have additionally legalized using marijuana. The tribe used a former bowling alley and remodeled it right into a lounge the place the marijuana can be disbursed and consumed, additionally consisting of 4 rooms dedicated to medical marijuana therapy. The lounge was estimated to generate $2 million month-to-month.
The opening is seen by some as a check to the tribe’s sovereignty. South Dakota state officers have warned that it might take one other yr earlier than hashish may very well be legally bought within the state, which has some skeptics weary that customers can be focused by legislation enforcement.
The tribe requires every buyer to first receive a medical marijuana ID card by its medical marijuana program, which is unbiased of this system the South Dakota Division of Well being is attempting to finalize. Governor Kristi Noem’s workplace launched an announcement on Wednesday saying that state troopers wouldn’t acknowledge tribal-issued marijuana playing cards required to buy on the dispensary until they’re for Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal members.
“The nonresident card provision applies on this occasion, as long as the cardholder is an enrolled tribal member and presents an unexpired medical hashish card issued by the resident’s tribe,” reads a press launch issued by Gov. Noem’s Workplace Wednesday night. FSST Lawyer Normal Pearman advised the Argus Chief Wednesday that the Freeway Patrol can be in violation of what is outlined in South Dakota Codified Legislation Chapter 34-20G in the event that they arrest non-tribal members with a legitimate medical marijuana ID card issued by the tribe.
The framework unveiled by the governor states that “Freeway Patrol personnel won’t, on the scene of a cease or interplay, arrest a South Dakota resident who’s unable to current an unexpired medical hashish card” so long as three situations are met: the person possesses not more than three ounces of pure and unaltered marijuana, the person claims on the time of the interplay that the medical hashish is to deal with or alleviate a debilitating medical situation as outlined by the Division of Well being, and the person produces printed or digital documentation relative to the debilitating medical situation from a licensed medical physician.
Legislation enforcement authorities all through the state have mentioned they are going to now not pursue fees in opposition to any grownup present in possession of three ounces of marijuana or much less, no matter medical card standing, beginning July 1, 2021. “Even in the event you don’t have a medical marijuana card, the choice was made that on low stage, low amount offenses, it’s a waste of assets to try to implement the very, very difficult model of medical marijuana that was handed by the voter,” Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead mentioned to the Argus Chief on June 30.
The opening of Native Nations Dispensary included a ribbon slicing ceremony accompanied with a prayer by a Tribal elder and smudging of the constructing and attendees earlier than gross sales started.
“The financial alternative can be substantial, and will help the tribe to fill price range gaps, and increase its programming,” FSST Lawyer Normal Pearman mentioned.
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