Second Minnesota Tribe Votes to Legalize Marijuana Stores, Sales to Begin Tuesday

Although the first state-licensed marijuana store isn’t expected to open in Minnesota until 2025, two tribes in the state are planning to open legal marijuana stores in just a couple days with no requirement to be a tribal member.

On Friday the White Earth Nation Tribal Council voted to legalize recreational marijuana for everyone 21 and older, including nontribal members. According to members of the council, sales are expected to begin Tuesday, August 1, the day marijuana officially becomes legal throughout all of Minnesota (although marijuana becomes legal on August 1, the state isn’t expected to issue the first marijuana retail licenses until sometime in 2025).

The tribe’s vote follows the actions of Red Lake Nation, which similarly voted last month to allow legal marijuana sales to anyone who’s at least 21 years old.

“It’s good not just for our constituents, but it’s good for all Minnesotans,” said White Earth Chairman Michael Fairbanks, who says the move will not only lead to increased revenue for the tribe, but it will give Minnesotans a legal method of purchasing marijuana prior to state-licensed stores opening in 2025.

In 2020 the tribe voted to legalize medical marijuana, including allowing dispensaries. The first dispensary is expected to begin sales on Monday in Mahnomen. The following day, on August 1, the dispensary is expected to begin selling to anyone 21 and older, not just patients.

Fairbanks says the tribe plans to open a second marijuana store in September.

White Earth Nation is around 225 miles from the capital of Minnesota, St. Paul, and covers 829,440 acres of land. The Red Lake Reservation is around 300 miles from St. Paul and covers around 806,000 acres.

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