The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe has signed a five-year contract with Denver-based Monarch America to help the tribe grow marijuana. The tribe will sell pot for recreational and medicinal use and allow users to partake at the bowling alley.
Marijuana. Bowling. Of course.
Monarch America offers further details on the growing and smoking they’ll help the tribe do, including some smoky outdoor concerts:
Under terms of the multi-year Agreement, Monarch America shall assist FSST with the design, construction, and development of a 10,000 sq. ft. marijuana grow facility to supply a 15,000 sq. ft. on-site retail recreational marijuana consumption lounge with 10 lanes of bowling, arcade games, gaming machines, bar and food service, 5,000 sq. ft. outdoor patio and music venue in an existing structure adjacent to the Royal River Casino and Hotel in Flandreau, South Dakota. In addition to the onsite recreational consumption lounge, FSST has the ability to hold large scale outdoor music festivals and camping where onsite marijuana consumption would be legal on over 300 acres of Tribal Trust Land adjacent to the Royal River Casino and Hotel. The Royal River Casino and Hotel was the first Native American destination casino in South Dakota. The Royal River Complex features a 24/7 casino gambling area with 455 slot machines, blackjack, roulette, a dedicated poker room, a 300 seat entertainment/conference center, a 120 room hotel, a lounge, and restaurants [Monarch America, press release, 2015.06.24].
The Monarch America crew has lots of connections to South Dakota. CEO Eric Hagen grew up in Aberdeen and studied international business at Northern. Tribal relations officer Robert Shepherd was chairman of the Great Sioux Nation and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. Consultant and marketer Cory Johnsen graduated from Aberdeen Central, went to Minnesota for college, then did marketing for the Western Agency in Sioux Falls. Johnsen also plays nose guard for the Sioux Falls Storm… a funny job for someone who pitches the manure of marketing.
It will be interesting to see how local fans and parents react to a local football player, arguably a role model for Sioux Falls kids, working to promote drug use that the Attorney General of South Dakota sternly reminds us is still illegal for that football player and anyone else who does not belong to the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe.
Update 09:52 CDT: Folks going bowling in Flandreau (the new euphemism of the year) for medicinal reasons may want to check the latest research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:
Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits.
…”It’s not a wonder drug but it certainly has some potential,” said Dr. Robert Wolff, a co-author and researcher with Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd., a research company in York, England.
…The editorial by two Yale University psychiatrists suggests enthusiasm for medical marijuana has outpaced rigorous research and says widespread use should wait for better evidence. Federal and state governments should support and encourage such research, the editorial says.
“Perhaps it is time to place the horse back in front of the cart,” Drs. Deepak Cyril D’Souza and Mohini Ranganathan wrote in the editorial.
They note that repeated recreational marijuana use can be addictive and say unanswered questions include what are the long-term health effects of medical marijuana use and whether its use is justified in children whose developing brains may be more vulnerable to its effects [Lindsey Tanner, “Medical Marijuana Unproven to Help in Many Illnesses Its [sic] Used for, Major Research Analysis Finds,” AP via Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 2015.06.23].