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Paiute tribe close to launching large-scale marijuana operation

Posted at 7:56 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 22:56:44-05
Marijuana is about to become big business in Nevada, and you might be surprised to find out who's taking advantage.
The Paiute Native American tribe in Las Vegas plans to capitalize on the opportunity by starting a large-scale marijuana operation that goes "from seed to sell."
For the last three years, Chris Spotted Eagle, the vice chairman of the tribe, has helped spearhead a project he says no other tribe in the country is doing.
"We thought there has to be somebody out there doing it like this and at this level," he said. "We just hadn't picked our head up long enough to see."
The dispensary will sit just behind the smoke shop on the corner of the Paiute's 31-acre plot of land.
For years, their smoke shop has been a primary source of revenue for the tribe, but Spotted Eagle says tobacco regulations have slowed business. 
He sees marijuana as a huge opportunity and a shot in the arm for his people.
"It's exciting and it's anxious," Spotted Eagle said. "There's a little anxiousness to it as well just because it's so brand new."
Also new to Nevada will be legalized recreational marijuana.
Spotted Eagle says that has spurred them to double the size of the dispensary.
But he's wary of the potential pitfalls to come with legalization.
"It'll get so commercialized that we're Anheuser-Busching it to a certain extent and we don't want that to happen," Spotted Eagle said. "We want to keep this to have a spiritual background. We don't want that to get lost in the financial gains."
Tribe leaders know it's going to be a tough, competitive market in the years to come. They say the quality of their product will speak for itself.