Press "Enter" to skip to content

20 Months After Medical Marijuana Vote: Two Tribal Dispensaries Doing Good Business, One State-Licensed Shop About to Open

The next time you hear some gringo in South Dakota refer to “Indian time,” don’t get all woke-het-up on ‘em; just point out that it would be more accurate to refer to some dilly-dallier as operating on “Kristi time.” Our American Indian neighbors in Flandreau promptly put into action South Dakotans’ will, expressed in the November 2020 election, to legalize medical marijuana. Governor Kristi Noem’s administration, however, has dragged its feet on getting medical marijuana cards out to ailing users and setting the regulatory framework for vendors to meet this newly legal need.

The state has certified 53 firms hoping to open 80 medical marijuana dispensaries around the state. But with Flandreau and now Pine Ridge dominating the cannabis market, the first state-certified shop for medical marijuana is just now prepping to open in Hartford, more than 20 months after voter approval and over a year after enactment of this medical reform:

“We are very excited to announce we have secured the first initial inventory available to state-ran dispensaries. Our plan is to have product delivered and available to the certified public on the 27th of this month for our soft opening,” Unity Rd. co-owner Adam Jorgensen said.

The showroom is ready at the brand-new Unity Rd. dispensary in Hartford.

…Unity Rd will be selling the first cannabis harvest from DNS (Dakota Natural Solutions), a state-licensed grow operation out of Huron, beginning Wednesday, July 27th [Bridget Bennett, “1st Licensed Marijuana Dispensary Opening Next Week,” KELO-TV, 2022.07.19].

Over a year and a half from an overwhelming popular vote to the opening of one state-licensed dispensary—that long wait would have felt even longer if our Indian friends hadn’t so promptly and urgently responded to the will of the people. It’s too bad South Dakota’s Governor leaves democracy and government lurching along on Kristi time.


  1. Jake 2022-07-20 09:23

    If it doesn’t have anything much to do with our controlling women and their bodies, we’re not in a hurry to fix it (SD GOP way of thinking)! Talk, talk, talk about how hard it is to do something new for us “citizen legislators” and bureaucrats. Foot dragging” is so common on the GOP side, one would think they were all “lame ducks”!!

  2. buckobear 2022-07-20 09:34

    Time to now set up women’s health clinics on the rez ….. all welcome.

  3. Ryan 2022-07-20 10:15

    kristi thinks holding things up through incompetence is some victory because she believes it is keeping the devil’s lettuce out of the hands of those sickos who are degenerate enough to want it. Lucky for everyone, cannabis is a simple, hearty plant that grows anywhere and has been very easy to come by for anybody interested for quite some time. I doubt very few people have just waited, hands in lap.

  4. John 2022-07-20 10:53

    The rez may be the last bastion of freedom remaining in South Dakota.
    We should encourage the Lakota to set up women’s health clinics.

  5. Nix 2022-07-20 12:18

    Contact NuggMD. (Google it)
    A licensed Medical Dr. from California will
    call you.
    After a brief conversation and a fee paid,
    you will get a California Medical Cannabis card with your Patient I. D. number.
    Good for one year and you can renew it
    Take this information to Flandreau and stop at the Registration center.
    You will be issued a FSST Medical Cannabis card and you are welcome to purchase products at the Native Nations
    1314 S Veterans St.
    Suite 1
    Flandreau, SD 57028.
    Support the tribes.

    Just don’t consume or speed going home.

  6. Ryan 2022-07-20 12:28

    Nix, I know a bunch of people who have done exactly what you are describing, and spreading the word is always a good thing… but having to do all that is such an absurd process, especially when after you leave the reservation you are once again in violation of the law because SD doesn’t recognize tribal cards for non-tribal members. And the people I know all report back that they are paying 25-50% more at Native Nations compared to street prices. So, this seems like a victory for folks who don’t otherwise have access to cannabis, but why go through the process of getting a tribal card, just to pay more, and still be a criminal? Crazy stuff.

  7. Nick Nemec 2022-07-20 13:21

    Wouldn’t is just be easier to just legalize marijuana?

  8. Ryan 2022-07-20 13:48

    That’s the plan, Nick! (Then abortion next!)

  9. Nix 2022-07-20 13:51

    Nick, Ryan,
    It feels like Groundhog Day.
    We DID legalize it.
    Unfortunately we let the monkeys
    count the bananas.

  10. Ryan 2022-07-20 13:58

    Nix ain’t wrong.

  11. P. Aitch 2022-07-20 14:38

    Ryan. You sound pretty knowledgeable. What are street prices? Say for seven grams of cannabis?

  12. Ryan 2022-07-20 15:14

    P. Aitch – i would suggest that a fellow should not spend more than $10 per gram for top notch stuff round these parts (that is the high end), but of course the variables are numerous. Considering the change in the industry over the last 20 years, that is a very fair deal for the high quality stuff that seems to be the current norm. Two decades ago, for that same high quality fruit, a normal price would have been about $20 a gram. Of course, low quality stuff has always existed at a much lower price point, but i’ve been told life is too short for brown bud. (And just FYI – cannabis customers in say Oklahoma would cry if they saw these prices, because the market there is allegedly so over-saturated with product for sale, prices are more like $2-$3 per gram for high grade… so… it depends)

  13. All Mammal 2022-07-20 18:21

    Weed will never be the same after the man taxes its way into perverting the entire industry out of recognition. As far as I’m concerned, making it legal/taxed doesn’t do any good for any individual and will only turn Mr. Greenthumb into Mr. Greedthumb, which will effect the quality in a negative way. Screw their blessing. We never needed it anyways. I would rather be a self determining person cited from time to time and pay a ticket than a kowtowing chump lining ahole’s pockets and scrounging to keep a nugget.

    The only regulations should be on the chemicals used to grow and government. If the state needs a tax so bad- tax guns and ammo and violent video games. Tax the piss out of them. Tax out-of-state cho-mos if we are going to allow them to live in SD. Tax their dicks off. Haha.
    I’m only an advocate for decriminalizing. Nothing else. Until the lady making and selling her own bath bombs is hassled with unnecessary bs, quit picking on people who know what they’re doing and go on and bust some industrial criminals polluting the groundwater. Haha check into Noem’s daughter’s ‘charity’. Make sure she’s not still using slave labor for her bath bomb industry.

  14. Jenny 2022-07-20 21:10

    The DFLers tricked the miserable pubs into legalizing THC edibles in MN finally. Unlike Noem, Gov Walz signed it immediately.
    Sorry SD, MN beat you yet again.
    Come on over spend some money and buy some edibles, maybe take in a Twins Game. Get away from Trumpistan for awhile. It would do you some good. 😀

  15. ABC 2022-07-21 02:44

    We passed medical and rec. marijuana in 2020 and the Republicans are holding it up! It’s not just a Kristi thing.
    They bellow about law and order Unless it is We the people that pass the laws!

    Defeat every Republicans! They clearly do not want the people’s laws! They are anti Democratic, anti women, anti Minority, anti Native, and anti marijuana. If the Democrats can’t or don’t want to crush them every 2 years, then other PARTIES are needed.

  16. larry kurtz 2022-07-22 15:52

    If Joe doesn’t run in 2024 my choice for our nominee is Martin Heinrich.

    Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) criticized the use of departmental funds to interfere in Tribal marijuana program[s] especially given the need to prioritize combating violent crime and solving cases of missing Indigenous people. First, federal funds could still be used to interfere in tribal cannabis activity if the territory is located within a state that maintains prohibition, for example.

Comments are closed.