Several operators started independent marijuana businesses long before the legislation in 2022. Even more are hoping to begin operations before the year runs out. Here are some of the top tribal casinos that already have legal cannabis businesses near their casino land.
Northern Lights Cannabis Company
Owned by the Bay Mills Indian Community, the Northern Lights Cannabis Company is the first marijuana business by an indigenous tribe in Michigan. The company, which is in Sault Ste. Marie, features a massive 10,000-plant facility and a store where it sells processed cannabis. Plans to build a processing facility in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan are underway.
Interestingly, the Northern Lights Cannabis Company is independent of the tribe’s casino business. The former chairman of the tribe, Bryan Newland, disclosed at the establishment of the company that the Northern Lights was financed by investment capital and represents a diversification of the tribe’s business interests.
Beach Fire Cannabis
In August 2022, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Tribal Council approved an adult-use cannabis ordinance which regulated production and sale of cannabis among the sovereign nation tribes. Fast forward to March 2023 and the band has launched Beach Fire Cannabis as part of its general tribal business operations.
Beach Fire Cannabis is in Acme Township, just adjacent to the tribe’s Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. The tribe also owns Leelanau Sands Casino up north in Peshawbestown, Michigan.
Lume Cannabis Company
Located at 246, 3 Mile Road in Sault Ste. Marie, the Lume Cannabis Company is a subsidiary of the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The cannabis company operates on tribal land and focuses on growing, processing, and distributing cannabis for recreational and medical adult-use.
“At Lume, we pride ourselves on offering an unmatched variety of safe and high-quality THC and CBD products and we are excited to introduce our brand and show cannabis in a new light to adult-use consumers in Sault Ste. Marie and the eastern Upper Peninsula,” said Doug Hellyar, the COO and President of Lume months before the opening.
Lume Cannabis Co. was established in 2021 independent of Kewadin Casinos, the Michigan gambling business of the Sault Tribe.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians are the latest indigenous tribe to establish a legal cannabis brand. Rolling Embers opened its doors to Michiganders in April 2023 and operates a retail store and smoking lounge for customers. Although the Pokagon Band tribe has three retail gambling businesses operating under the brand name Four Winds, Rolling Embers is not affiliated with any of the casinos.
Rolling Embers is an independent facility built on over 4,000 square feet of space, with an indoor retail space and an outdoor space for social events, smoking and food trucks. The cannabis company has also been a source of employment to about 14 people since establishment.