Prairie Island Indian Community says marijuana dispensary will open this summer

A new recreational marijuana dispensary is set to open this summer and it figures to be the closest yet to the Twin Cities.

Prairie Island Indian Community announced plans for its dispensary, Island Peži, on Thursday. Peži means grass.

“Island Peži is a step forward in our efforts to diversify our economy and strengthen our Tribe’s long-term financial sovereignty,” Prairie Island Tribal Council President Grant Johnson said. “We’re excited to be among the first to enter the cannabis market and create new opportunities for the future of our Tribe.”

The community says the dispensary will open next to Dakota Station, near Treasure Island in Welch.

While Minnesota legalized marijuana possession in August, recreational sales aren’t expected to start until next year, except for tribal nations, which don’t have to wait for the state’s licensing system. Red Lake Nation and White Earth Nation opened dispensaries last year, but those are both several hours and more than 250 miles north of the Twin Cities, while Island Peži will be only around 45 miles from Minneapolis.