Written by Lacey Louwagie for Courthouse News Services.
FLANDREAU, S.D. (CN) — South Dakota criminally charged two employees of a Colorado-based consulting firm Wednesday for their role in attempting to launch a marijuana resort on Santee Sioux land.
Matthew Hagen, of South Dakota, and Jonathan Hunt, of Colorado, are president and vice president of Monarch America, a consulting firm specializing in managing cannabis dispensaries.
Two weeks after the Santee Sioux’s tribal leadership voted to legalize marijuana on the Flandreau Indian Reservation, in June 2015, the tribe contacted Hagen and Hunt for help setting up a marijuana “resort” that would include a marijuana growing facility, dispensary and nightclub.
By October, Hagen and Hunt had overseen construction of an indoor growing facility and had begun cultivating hundreds of marijuana plants, and a nearby bowling alley was renovated as a dispensary and nightclub.
On Wednesday, a Moody County grand jury indicted Hagen on charges of conspiracy to possess more than 10 pounds of marijuana, possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana, and attempted possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana. Hunt faces charges of conspiracy to possess one-half pound of marijuana.