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Native Nations Cannabis draws customers from the region

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:06 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -At Native Nations Cannabis in Flandreau, they’re not customers, they’re patients and people are lining up to get relief for their pain.

Melissa Mentle drives over an hour each day to work at the Native Nations Cannabis licensing center. She’s been a proponent of Medical Marijuana for years.

We have a lot of people with seizure disorders, we have a lot of cancer patients, lots of professional business people, we’ve had some physicians come through some pharmacists, a mix of everybody in our community and our state,” said Mentle.

There are three things a person needs to apply for a card, which if approved allows them to buy medical cannabis.

We require that you have a completed application, a valid photo ID, and a physician’s recommendation,” said Mentle.

So far, 6,000 people have received their Native Nations Cannabis Card.

The next stop on the reservation is the dispensary, just a few blocks away. We spoke with a woman who drove just an hour away from Watertown. She used to take sleeping pills to help with restless leg syndrome but was groggy in the morning.

“When I found out that I could qualify to get my card for Restless Leg Syndrome, that’s exactly what I did and I’ll take a couple, even just puffs, at night, it just, it really helps sleeping,” she said.

Buying marijuana on the street could be deadly. Native Nations General Manager Cory Johnsen finds fulfillment in helping patients find a regulated product that works for them.

“We actually have a third-party testing company that they test all of our products that tell us you know THCA THCB,” said Johnsen.

While the rest of the state and city sorts out Medical Cannabis, the Santee Sioux Tribe is well underway with its production and sales. They offer something extra with each sale, according to Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Attorney General Seth Pearman.

“Somebody has purchased a product from us and they face criminal penalties or are arrested, they can reach back out to us and we will help get them criminal defense,” said Pearman.

They are turning a profit but Pearman won’t say how much. All revenue goes to the tribe and tribal programming.

“The Executive Committee is very pleased with the amount of money that’s coming in,” said Pearman.

The gummies, vapes, buds, nectar, and tinctures contain specific strains to meet specific health concerns. Sales are limited to ensure everyone can get something if they make the trip.

“Everything the tribe said it’s going to do it’s actually doing, you know, from the seed to sale tracking to security measures and everything we do to prevent diversion, and it’s been working really well,” said Pearman.

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