Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Minnesota, people have been waiting for retail spaces to open. However, retail stores will not be allowed to open until the beginning of 2025.

There's one exception to that rule, though. Tribal nations in Minnesota are allowed to open retail spaces for recreational cannabis already. And there's one in southeast Minnesota that plans to open theirs soon.

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Why Can Tribal Nations Open Dispensaries in Minnesota?

Tribal nations are sovereign nations, which means they are able to create their own cannabis ordinances. According to the website of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "Tribes have the inherent right to operate under their own governmental systems."

So long story short when it comes to the legalization of recreational marijuana, tribal nations are legally able to open dispensaries before other places in Minnesota.

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Dispensaries in Minnesota

So far the tribal nations that have opened dispensaries have all been in northern and central Minnesota. Those include NativeCare in Miskwaagamiiwi-Zaagaiganing / the Red Lake Nation (Red Lake, MN), Waabigwa Mashkiki in Gaa-waabaabiganikaag / the White Earth Nation (Mahnomen, MN), and The Sweetest Grass in Gaa-zagaskwaajimekaag / the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (Walker, MN). The Sweetest Grass actually opens this week.

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But we will soon have one in our neck of the woods.

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Southeast Minnesota's First Dispensary

The dispensary is called Island Peži. Peži is pronounced pay-zhee and means 'grass', according to the tribe's website. It will be located in Tinta Wita / the Prairie Island Indian Community, which is by Red Wing.

In the tribe's article about the dispensary they write,

"As a sovereign nation, PIIC has enacted its own Cannabis Regulatory Ordinance, which authorizes a comprehensive licensing and regulatory system to regulate cannabis within its jurisdiction. The Tribe is committed to the highest standards of operation through its Cannabis Regulatory Commission."

As of writing this post, there's no additional information on the Island Peži website but according to MPR, they hope to open by the end of this month.

When they do open, the dispensary will be located next to Dakota Station.

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