Poarch Creeks start building on potential casino site in Florida

The Wind Casino and Hotel in Atmore, Alabama, is only about 12 miles from the potential gaming site in Nokomis, Florida. Photo from Facebook

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is building a structure on trust property in Florida, NorthEscambia.Com reports.

The site published several photos of a metal structure that appears to take up most of the 1-acre property. The tribe is calling it a "warehouse" for now but has made clear that it wants to use the land for gaming.

"[O]ur focus has always been on entering into a compact with the State that would ensure our ability to have gaming operations while not impacting other compacts or revenue sharing agreements already in place," Chairwoman Stephanie Bryan told NorthEscambia.com.

View Larger Map: Poarch Creek Potential Casino Site in Nokomis, Florida
Bryan, however, has raised the possibility that the warehouse could be used for a marijuana operation. Although the drug remains illegal under federal law, a Department of Justice policy could open the door for tribes to cultivate marijuana.

“Obviously, growing marijuana has never been at the top of our list when it comes to the tribe’s goals as part of our economic development. Growing marijuana on our land is something that we, as a federally recognized Tribe, can do legally,” Byran told NorthEscambia.Com.

The tribe has asked Gov. Rick Scott (R) to negotiate a Class III gaming compact but he has refused to come to the table. He apparently believes the tribe needs an additional determination from the federal government.

The 1-acre property is located in Nokomis, near the Florida-Alabama border. The land was placed in trust in 1984 so it presumably qualifies under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

The tribe operates the Wind Casino and Hotel in Atmore, Alabama, about 12 miles away.

Get the Story:
Poarch Creeks To Rick Scott: Let Us Open Casino In North Escambia, Or We’ll Start Selling Pot (NorthEscambia.Com 2/21)

An Opinion:
Leada Gore: Poarch Creek play pot hardball as Congressman says let's just legalize marijuana nationwide (Al.Com 2/21)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

Related Stories
Poarch Creeks bring up marijuana in Florida gaming deal talks (2/20)

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