Native American tribe’s cannabis consultant to face trial

By James Nord

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PIERRE, S.D.-Roughly two years after an American Indian tribe began an ambitious push to open the nation’s first marijuana resort in South Dakota, a consultant who helped pursue the stalled venture is heading to trial on drug charges.

Jury selection starts Thursday in the case of Eric Hagen, a consultant who worked with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe on its operation about 45 miles north of Sioux Falls.

Hagen was indicted on state marijuana charges months after the tribe destroyed its crop amid fears of a federal raid.

Jonathan Hunt, another official with consulting company Monarch America, pleaded guilty last year to a drug conspiracy count after agreeing to co-operate with law enforcement.

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