One Native American tribe has had strong success in terms of business; that tribe is the Santee Sioux tribe. They have been “running a successful casino, a 120-room hotel and a 240-head buffalo ranch on the plains of South Dakota.” However, these businesses are not protected from competition and effects of the Great recession, so the tribe has decided to take on a new business; the nation’s first marijuana resort on the tribe’s very own reservation.

This new business may show a new way to make money for various tribes throughout the nation seeking economic opportunities beyond the casino. The leaders of the tribe look to cultivate their own marijuana and sell it in a smoking lounge “that includes a nightclub, arcade games, bar and food service, and eventually, slot machines and an outdoor music venue.”

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

According to the tribe, the project may generate over $2 million monthly in profit. Work is already beginning to make the growing facility. The first products should be going on sale December 31st at a New Year’s Eve Party. The Justice Department allows Indian tribes to grow and sell marijuana long ago, but it wasn’t until months later that the tribe decided to final try it out. Other tribes are reluctant to jump into the marijuana business. And not everyone agrees with the venture. However, the potential of revenue has enticed many other tribes, just like the casino did long ago.

“The vast majority of tribes have little to no economic opportunity,” stated Blake Trueblood, business development director at the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. “This is something that you might look at and say, ‘We’ve got to do something.’”

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