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South Dakota Sioux Planning to Open Nation’s First Marijuana Resort

FLANDREAU, S.D. — The Santee Sioux tribe has already proven its business acumen, running a successful casino, a 120-room hotel and a 240-head buffalo ranch on the plains of South Dakota.

But those enterprises have not been immune to competition and the lingering effects of the Great Recession, so the small tribe of 400 is undertaking a new venture — opening the nation’s first marijuana resort on its reservation. 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 pot 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,” tribal President Anthony Reider said. “There’s nowhere else in American that has something like this.” [Read more at the Minneapolis Star Tribune]

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