South Dakota tribe’s pot resort consultants facing possession charges

Written by James Nord & Regina Cano for Associate Press.
Cuffs

Two consultants who worked with a Native American tribe on its plans to open the nation’s first marijuana resort have been charged with drug offences, South Dakota’s attorney general announced Wednesday.

The charges come eight months after the Flandreau Santee Sioux destroyed their crop amid fears of a federal raid, abandoning an ambitious scheme to develop “an adult playground” that they estimated could net as much as $2 million a month in profits. Tribal leaders this week said they don’t plan to revisit the proposal, and instead will use their land to grow vegetables, including tomatoes.

Attorney General Marty Jackley, who warned against the tribe’s proposal from the start, said that a range of marijuana possession charges had been brought against two top officials of Monarch America, the Littleton, Colorado-based company hired to work with the tribe.

Eric Hagen, Monarch’s chief executive, was charged by indictment with conspiracy to possess, possession and attempt to possess more than 10 pounds of marijuana. Jonathan Hunt, the vice president and cultivation expert, was charged with conspiracy to possess between a half-pound and a pound of marijuana.

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