Skip to main content

South Dakota tribe halts 'marijuana resort' plans, burns its crop

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The South Dakota tribe planning to open the nation's very first "marijuana resort" set fire to their fledgling marijuana crop, reports say.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, located on a reservation near the Minnesota border, burned the plants in their growing facility after "sources" told them federal agents were preparing to raid the operation, Indian Country Today Media Network reports.

The move followed a tribal vote on Saturday to "temporarily suspend" the project altogether, the news service says.

The legality of the operation – which was to include a lounge with bowling lanes, arcade games, a bar, an outdoor patio, music and more, CNN Money reported – had apparently become a matter of dispute between the tribe and the federal government.

According to USA Today, the Flandreau Santee Sioux put the resort on hold in order to get "clarification" from the feds on how to proceed legally.

The Associated Press says the main point of contention was whether the tribe could sell pot to people who aren't American Indian, as well as tribal members.

It's not entirely clear what steps need to be taken to resolve the issue, but Siouxland Matters notes the U.S. Justice Department gave Native American tribes the "authority to legalize marijuana," with the condition they play by the same rules as states (such as Colorado and Oregon) that have legalized pot.

The tribe's lawyer told USA Today the marijuana investment will be "better suited to succeed" once the Flandreau Santee Sioux have worked out their issues with the federal government.

They currently operate a successful gaming operation, the Royal River Casino and Hotel.

Keloland reports that South Dakota Attorney General Mark Jackey was scheduled to meet with the tribe on Tuesday to discuss what happens next.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.


NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.


Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.


Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.


Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.