Thursday, November 21, 2019

Despite South Dakota's intransigence tribes moving forward on cannabis industry

A 1986 amendment to federal law allows tribes to acquire off-reservation land to serve the needs of its peoples.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana and the Arapahoe Tribe of Oklahoma teamed up and bought 1,020 acres of ranchland north and east of Mato Paha (Bear Butte) adding significantly to their holdings West River. Last year the Oglala Lakota Oyate bought off-reservation property on I-90 just outside Badlands National Park. The Fort Peck Tribes in occupied Montana have legalized therapeutic cannabis and the Northern Cheyenne have been mulling the concept. As co-owners of Pe'Sla the Minnesota-based Shakopee Mdewakanton Nation could bring that state's medical cannabis and reproductive rights freedoms to the Black Hills. Lower Brule has struggled with synthetic cannabinoids but that community has off-reservation property in Fort Pierre to test their sovereignty.

Recall President Tony Reider and officials of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation advanced their cannabis initiative after an Iowa casino on the border cut into the tribe's gaming business but reportedly destroyed their crop after threats from federal party-poopers. It's pretty clear why Republican former Governor Denny Daugaard supported more gambling at the casino owned and operated by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. The State of South Dakota receives revenue from FSST through a compact with the Isanti Dakota Oyate.

The road to legal cannabis for all adults in South Dakota is paved with hemp but tribal nations should be the primary beneficiaries of industry growth there.

A former chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate is a tribal liaison for a cannabis development firm.
Tex Hall, the former chairman of the oil-rich Three Affiliated Tribes, and Robert Shepherd, former chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe in northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota, are trying to recruit and assist tribes in producing high-grade marijuana products. [Associated Press]
South Dakota Secretary of Tribal Relations Dave Flute is a former chairman of the SWO.

Since South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has admitted white people are too stupid to grow cannabis, industrial or otherwise, tribal nations trapped in the state are on the path to economic growth. State law doesn’t apply to sovereign nations so the Flandreau Santee and Oglala Lakota Nations have filed applications with the US Department of Agriculture to grow industrial cannabis (hemp).

Minnesota towns like Pipestone, Luverne, Worthington, Lake Benton, Ortonville and Hendricks near the South Dakota border could reap the coming cannabis whirlwind as Governor Tim Walz urges legalization.


  1. North Dakota board poised to send 26 pardon applicants convicted of cannabis offenses to Republican governor: Bismarck Tribune.

  2. Regulators have added chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration to the list of conditions that patients can treat with therapeutic cannabis: Minnesota Public Radio.


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