Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded all Justice Department marijuana policies from the Obama-era on Jan 4, 2018. Change is coming and the following information will be updated as it happens.
The U.S. Justice Department issued a policy in 2014 regarding marijuana on tribal lands. It allows federally-recognized tribes in states with legalized marijuana to decide their own policies and self-regulate the growing and sales of marijuana on their reservations.
Cannabis is illegal for all purposes in South Dakota. Testing positive for marijuana is a felony crime. Possession of a small amount is a crimal misdemeanor.
There are eight federally-recognized tribes in South Dakota. The DOJ marijuana policy on tribal reservations applies to these South Dakota tribes. Each is federally recognized as sovereign by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Interior Department.
For a complete list of South Dakota tribes and their locations, see our page about South Dakota Tribes.
South Dakota tribes recognize the challenges and business opportunities of the cannabis industry, but have not announced their interests or business plans.
Sept 29, 2015
The Santee Sioux tribe announced plans for the first U.S. recreational marijuana resort. It will be built on their reservation next to their Royal River Casino and Hotel.
The tribe will grow marijuana and sell it in a smoking lounge featuring a nightclub, arcade games, bar and food venue. Later plans include slotmachines and an outdoor music center.
"We want it to be an adult playground," said tribal President Anthony Reider. "There's nowhere else in American that has something like this."
Nov 7, 2015
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe announced it has temporarily suspended plans for a marijuana resort and is seeking legal clarification from the federal government. The tribe has also stopped growing marijuana and has destroyed its entire crop.
There has been no further public announcements.