US & Canada

Native American tribe to open first marijuana resort in US

The Santee Sioux tribe's facility for growing marijuana is pictured on 24 September 2015 Image copyright AP
Image caption Marijuana is currently growing on the reservation in Flandreau, South Dakota

A Native American tribe in the US state of South Dakota has said it plans to open what would be the first marijuana resort in the US.

The 400-member Santee Sioux tribe already runs a casino, hotel and ranch and hopes the resort will be a new revenue generator.

Marijuana is not legal in South Dakota but the tribe has been permitted to grow and sell pot since June.

It will open on New Year's Eve and only be sold on the reservation.

Sioux leaders would grow the marijuana to be offered in a smoking lounge.

The lounge would have games, food and a bar, and eventually slot machines and a music venue.

"We want it to be an adult playground," tribal president Anthony Reider told the AP news agency.

"There's nowhere else in America that has something like this."

Tribe leaders predict the resort would make up to $2m (£1.3m) per month.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Marijuana seedlings are currently growing in the facility on the reservation

Marijuana is growing at a facility on the reservation now and they hope to sell it for the first time on 31 December at a New Year's Eve party.

The Justice Department put out a new policy allowing Native American tribes to grow and sell marijuana in a similar way to some US states like Colorado in 2014.

The strict provision does not allow tribes to sell marijuana to minors or grow it on public land.

Marijuana will be sold in sealed one-gram packages for $12.50 (£8.27) to $15, and people will only be able to buy one gram at a time.

"[The tribe] must look at these opportunities because in order to preserve the past we do have to advance in the present," said Mr Reider.