The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Michigan have entered the adult-use recreational cannabis market. They will be joining a number of tribes that have taken a leap into the legal cannabis industry in their respective states.
Their Tribal Council enacted a “Tribal Marijuana Ordinance,” back in 2019. The ordinance will go into effect on August 29th. Similar to the state’s marijuana regulation, the ordinance will allow a person, group, or company chartered by the tribe to engage in all aspects of a vertically integrated cannabis business.
The Grand Traverse Band (GTB) of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will allow recreational cannabis business in their six counties located in northern Michigan. However, there have been no announcements by the GTB yet on any retail locations. They must be on tribal land according to the law.
Joining Other Tribes In The Cannabis Market
Image Via 500 Nations
The GTB tribe will follow a lot of the other Native American tribes through the United States. This includes numerous other Michigan tribes. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians opened a recreational dispensary in Upper Peninsula earlier this year. With the rapid growth, they plan on opening another five dispensaries.
Last year, the Bay Mills Indian Community opened an adult-use cannabis shop in the Upper Peninsula as well. In fact, they opened the first dispensary in the state: Northern Light Cannabis Co. Of course, this was after starting with a 10,000-plant grow facility on reservation land. Furthermore, Bay Mills has shown interest in starting a cannabis cooperative with other Michigan tribes.
The GTB tribe expressed the difficulty their enterprises, like gaming, their resort, and gas stations, had generating revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other tribes, they saw an opportunity to diversify their enterprises and offset their recent declines. Since GTB is not, by large, bound by local laws or ordinances, they have the opportunity to provide the region with recreational cannabis products before any local ordinances are even finalized and put into effect.