Just two weeks after becoming Minnesota’s first recreational cannabis retailer, Red Lake Nation is laying the groundwork for its next venture: a mobile dispensary.
The service will only operate within tribal territories. Tribal Secretary Samuel Strong likened the concept to a food truck, while acknowledging the additional security concerns that come with such an operation.
“You know, setting up shop and being able to serve customers and have the same level of customer service while being mobile and being more available to our consumers,” he told Minnesota Public Radio.
According to MPR, NativeCare, the tribe’s dispensary, has attracted approximately 300 customers daily since its launch. Strong noted that queues outside have notably shortened. In a nod to popular culture, they’ve even extended business hours to include Saturdays, wrapping up at 4:20 p.m.
Addressing initial safety apprehensions about the dispensary, Strong said the fears were groundless. Customers, he observed, have been courteous and adhere to tribal regulations.
“What I found is that the people that are participating in this industry are very friendly and very respectful of our laws,” Strong said. The dispensary has also generated increased traffic to other tribal enterprises, such as their casino.
The venture is bridging perceptions between the outside visitors and the Red Lake community, he said.
It might be another 12-18 months for dispensaries to commence operations outside tribal boundaries, as state authorities finalize a licensing blueprint, the outlet reported.
Red Lake Nation’s ambitions don’t end here. There are plans to launch two more dispensaries near their casinos in Warroad and Thief River Falls.
“We’re building that ‘Minnesota nice’ brand, and we’re doing it in a way that’s good for the tribe and good for cannabis consumers,” Strong said.