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Minnesota Tribe Launches Adult Use Cannabis

Minnesota’s Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has launched its regulatory framework for the legal sale of adult use cannabis.

According to reports from MPR News, Leech Lake Chairman Faron Jackson, Sr. has confirmed that the tribe hopes to begin operations by the end of 2023, with the ambition to open three dispensaries.

The regulations would allow the sale and consumption of adult use cannabis for tribe and non-tribe members.

Speaking to the publication, Jackson stated policy direction on the matter had been taken from the elders of Leech Lake as well as military veterans: “They have been purchasing hemp oil at Walmart and Target, and they use a little bit of that in their own homes even before cannabis was legalised on tribal lands. And it has some good medical benefits for them, helping them with their post-traumatic stress or anxiety and things of that nature.”

The development follows the legalisation of adult use of cannabis in Minesotta, which came into effect on 1 August, 2023 – making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalise the recreational use of the plant.

While retail sales are not expected to begin for another year, tribal nations are able to set their own rules, and the Red Lake reservation’s Tribal council voted to begin sales to tribal and non-tribal members, as reported by The Minnestoa Reformer.

The move has seen the Red Lake reservation have the first operational dispensary in the state – NativeCare – which made the first adult use cannabis sale in the state.

A second tribal nation, White Earth, has also launched sales in its Waagigwan Mashkiki Dispensary – which opened the day after Red Lake’s NativeCare.

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