Two US casinos consider opening cannabis dispensaries

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Two Native Indian tribes are looking for ways to combine casinos and cannabis

In an effort to diversify their operations, two Native Indian casinos are looking to add large marijuana dispensaries to their services. Both Harrah’s in North Carolina and Foxwoods in Connecticut have plans to implement larger dispensaries of at least 25,000 square feet, with consumption lounges and drive-through windows. While the casino industry is known to be quite large, it doesn’t hurt to add cannabis sales to the equation, as it could generate another source of revenue as casinos move through the legalized sports betting process and other competitions.

Jeremy Wilson, Cherokee’s government affairs liaison, said the dispensary is likely to be called Kituwah Medical, although the final site has not yet been determined. It is believed that a bingo hall whose operations closed last year because of the pandemic may be a possible location. The tribe expects everything to be in place in about a year before the facility can open. In Connecticut, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation operates Foxwoods Resort Casino as one of the most prominent and popular gaming establishments in the Northeast. Plans there are focused on a dispensary a half-mile from the casino, near restaurants, a shopping center and a golf course.

In Connecticut, adult retail sales in state-licensed stores may be launched next year, while the North Carolina legislature is paving the way to approve the medical use of cannabis. It is important to remember that Native Indian lands are not subject to many state and federal laws, plus taxes on cannabis go to the respective tribes, making it a pretty smart plan should it come to fruition.