South Dakota’s Native American Tribes not only legally opened a medical cannabis dispensary without consulting the state, but this past week, advocates also filed four different recreational legalization initiatives for consideration on the ballot later this year.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe was the first tribe in the nation to legalize cannabis following a memo published by the Department of Justice in 2014. Even though medical cannabis is legal in South Dakota now, as of July 1, 2021, sales aren’t expected to begin until July 1, 2022 due to Governor Kristi Noem not having enough time to “study the issue and implement a program,” she said in February, according to the Associated Press.
However, this restriction didn’t stop the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe from bringing medical cannabis to its reservation. The tribe pursued this action without getting it approved by the state first, which is within their right. “The grand opening of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s Native Nations Dispensary went very well, and customers have flooded the dispensary all day,” Flandreau Santee Sioux Attorney General Seth Pearman said to Native News Online.
“The Tribe is confident that the regulatory structure it put in place will create a safe product that will benefit