Tribe’s marijuana accessory store to pave way for dispensary


Times photo/Marty Bachman Valerie Vigil stands in front of a display of pipes and other smoking accessories at the Tsaa Nesunkwa headshop at the Silver Sage Travel Center on Great Basin Highway on the Ely Shoshone Indian reservation. The store will begin dispensing medical marijuana to patients in a few months.

Times photo/Marty Bachman
Valerie Vigil stands in front of a display of pipes and other smoking accessories at the Tsaa Nesunkwa headshop at the Silver Sage Travel Center on Great Basin Highway on the Ely Shoshone Indian reservation. The store will begin dispensing medical marijuana to patients in a few months.

The Ely Shoshone Indian tribe has opened a boutique marijuana accessory shop, “Tsaa Nesunkwa,” in the rear of the Silver Sage Travel Center on Great Basin Highway, in anticipation of their opening of a full-scale medical marijuana dispensary later this year. The new store, while still somewhat barren of products, carries glass and metal pipes of various shapes and sizes, water pipes and bongs, vape pens, rolling papers and other marijuana smoking accessories.

For those looking to grow their own indoor medicine or tomatoes, Tsaa Nesunkwa carries grow lights, cloning gel, pruners, fertilizers and tubing among other indoor gardening supplies.

Other products include grinders, scales, incense, synthetic urine for passing drug tests, and glow in the dark ash trays.

“We wanted to introduce the public to the accessory side and garden shop as well,” said Cassandra Dittus, a project coordinator and advisor to the tribe on their future dispensary plans.

In October 2014, a Justice Department memo gave individual tribal governments the authority to grow and sell medical marijuana on tribal lands. While still illegal on the federal level, a 2013 Justice Department memo stated as long as dispensaries abide by the laws of local jurisdictions, the federal government would limit their involvement as far as prosecutions. The 2014 memo reiterated the 2013 memo points but was specific to tribal lands.

Dittus said with the opening of a Love’s Truck Stop less than a mile from the Silver Sage Travel Center, the local tribe was looking at new ways to generate revenue to cover the losses expected from new competition.

“Love’s is a threat to their community,” Dittus said. “They’re learning to diversify into a different industry. We really hope to see this bring a positive industry to the tribe at this point and help them create more jobs and more revenue to support their social programs.”

Dittus said the goal of the tribe is to be more self-sustaining and to keep up with the times, as Love’s is expected to seriously dip into their revenue stream. She said the new store will continue to add more adornments, including T-shirts, posters, hats and clothing. Information on the distribution of medical marijuana itself will be released when the buds, which are being grown locally, and the tribe, have reached that stage of the process.

“We’re taking baby steps into the industry,” Dittus said.

The shop also provides appointments with doctors via Skype and will be a one-stop location for receiving a recommendation, and the gathering and filing of all required registration and paperwork necessary to comply with Nevada’s medical marijuana laws.

Dittus emphasized the “positive” benefits the dispensary will have on the community.

“There are a lot of people looking for help and introduction into the world of medical marijuana and there’s not a lot of information out there,” she said. “It’s four hours to Vegas and five to Reno and a there’s lot of patients in the community that need outreach. We’re trying to help people get introduced to the benefits of medical marijuana.”

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  1. curt sundell says:

    ” We’re trying to help people get introduced to the benefits of medical marijuana.”
    I believe you are simply trying to make a buck.You are skirting the law with this whole “medical marijuana” business. You can’t tell from plant to plant how much THC is in the current batch. You can’t tell what is even considered impaired on a nanograms per milliliter in a blood test.There are currently three legitimate pharmaceutical companys producing “medical marijuana “. At least they can tell with accuracy how potent their product is.
    Any way I see it, it’s just a loophole for you to get high. Thank you for letting me express my opinion.
    Just one more thing. Why do you need synthetic urine to pass drug tests?

    • Well said….”you are trying to make a buck”. And doing it on tribal land is the loophole used to get around the law…pitiful that the tribe and their land are exempt from some federal laws but entitled to all federal rights. Something needs fixed.

  2. Arlene Terry says:

    You are not looking at the good for our full community. All they are looking at is the amount of money that can be taken in. This would effect out kids in the whole community. Not just the people that need medical marijuana. Yes there are people who might need marijuana but where is there going to be rules and regulations to protector our children, who is our future.

  3. Stephen Porter says:

    Before everyone starts saying how in danger the kids are why dont we start thinking. We should just leave it a black market that way its easier for kids to get drugs…why is that? Drug dealers are already breaking the law. Do you really think a drug dealer are going to ask for an ID. Most kids would agree its easier to get weed than alcohol.

    A dispensary will ask for an ID. Their businesses would be shut down if they didnt. So with that said it would be harder for kids to get it. Legislation and regulation will protect children better than prohibition.

  4. “Love’s is a threat to their community”
    Or as other business owners simply refer to it – competition.

    In the meantime:

    Internet: ‘Long-term marijuana use has been linked to a variety of health and mental health concerns’. Paranoia is a classic effect of cannabis – with brain ‘stunting’ evident in young users (reference medical journals).

    “synthetic urine for passing drug tests, and glow in the dark ash trays… the new store will continue to add more adornments, including T-shirts, posters, hats and clothing”

    ‘Synthetic urine for passing drug tests’. Very nice. Because (industrial) employers logically need to be fooled into employing people potentially effected by pot. This is NOT an attack – but it seems any community – and specifically this proud community – could do better than trying to offset with a head shop that will apparently be promoting a ‘sub-culture’ of pot use that transcends medical prescriptions (in a mining town). Or was that not what the article was suggesting?

    (Not that Cheech and Chong posters aren’t in really high demand these days.)

  5. A dispensary is an office in a school, hospital, industrial plant, or other organization that dispenses medications, medical supplies, and in some cases even medical and dental treatment. In a traditional dispensary set-up, a pharmacist dispenses medication as per prescription or order form.

    • Funny, I don’t recall seeing ‘synthetic urine for passing drug tests’ and glow in the dark ash trays in schools, hospitals, or industrial plants – but I guess there might be a few in the area thinking that to be either a fantastic (and ridiculous) counter-culture trend – or just brilliant for their personal choices.

      Given the expected ‘regulatory’ legalization defense, do they often ‘dispense’ cigarettes and alcohol as well? Or ironically just the occasional anti-drug abuse poster?

  6. Stephen Porter says:

    Wow…..what part of drug dealers dont ask for id do you people not get. Your worried about synthetic urine…(which do your research its starting not to work.), cheech and chong posters…these are all ligit questions, but not important ones. The goal is to keep it away from kids….it sounds like the goals of the uneducated people responding is to keep out the “counter culture”…as long as the hippies stay out of the town. People that give their opinion without doing research are the reason we are fighting a non winable drug war. Do some research on drug problems in other countries. See how they handle it. And then do some research on prohibition. Dont just give your wrong opinion. You sound dumb.

  7. Stephen Porter says:

    Please post these medical journals so people can see. There is no legit research that makes claims of brain stunting. In fact the opposite is true there is medical research thay suggest it helps brain cells to grow. Again do some real research. Dont believe the government. I would recomend you start with a documentry called “the culture high” its on netflix or you tube. Heres some more facts for you….0 people have died from smoking cannibas. Thats less than coffee.

    Here is a link…it has lots of peer reviewed studies. Start there.

  8. Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago study from 2014: “There have been a growing number of studies that suggest that marijuana use in emerging adults is associated with differences in brain structure and cognitive abilities,” (said) the director of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core at McLean Hospital outside Boston. “I’m not saying (pot smoking) is analogous to shooting heroin or cocaine, but it’s also not quite the benign substance people thought it was…”

    Further “…Responding to a study that found a decline in IQ points among people who used marijuana regularly, (the director) of the National Institutes of Health, said recently that people should be more aware of these potential brain impacts.”

    I’ll let you track these down, they’re not difficult articles to locate – assuming normal brain structure.

  9. Recent British Medical Journal: (Imperial College, and St Mary’s Hospital) – “Cannabis could be a major contributor to UK deaths.”

    “…Researchers calculate that if 120,000 deaths are caused among 13million smokers, the corresponding figure among 3.2million cannabis smokers would be 30,000.

    The drug can cause cancer, lung disease and abnormalities associated with serious mental illness. Users are up to six times more likely to develop schizophrenia. The British Lung Foundation says smoking three joints a day can cause the same damage to the airways as a pack of 20 cigarettes… “Even if the number of deaths turned out to be only a fraction of the 30,000 we believe possible, cannabis smoking would still be described as a major health hazard.”

    “If we add in the likely mental health burden to that of medical illnesses and premature death, the potential effects of cannabis cannot be ignored.”

    No glow in the dark ashtrays or biased squirming at these medical institutions, just science and medicine, Stephen. You know, for the children?

  10. “No matter what you say its not stopping.” Spoken like a 15 year old with tears in his eyes.

    Stephen, do you know what Google is? And when you figure that out, you can look up the meaning of the word ‘zealot’. But clearly the science will not matter to you much – you simply want what you want and feel that the latest trend supports your desires.

    You are passionately advocating for something that is still illegal on the federal level.

    Simple (stoner) math: bring more of something into an area, and there will simply be a greater chance of the theft and abuse of it. particularly with a local store promoting it as a lifestyle.

    • Stephen Porter says:

      Again wheeler put some links….just another ignorant troll….yep i have google. Did you just learn how to use it? Look up some acual statistics. I recomend you leave Ely for a little while to check out how the rest of the world functions. Science says opposite of what your sayng. I can type things in to wheeler. Put some links up provide your proofe. Dont just type things in and expect people to take your word. If this is who i think it is then the trolling isnt surprising.

  11. Stephen Porter – I think I get it now – you don’t actually know that The British Medical Journal is the name of the publication/organization. Or that the articles have been sited and are now easily located. Or the difference between real and junk science. Or that other people do not work for special you.

    As stated before: maybe more or better education. You’re witlessly embarrassing yourself while you TROLL the community (through this site) with your pro-pot campaign.

    Beyond that – two words: ‘spell check’.

  12. Whitepiner says:

    So, why hasn’t the times reported that the feds came in and shutdown the dispensary? A update would be nice.

  13. ‘Trackbacks’ (?!) – Just directly linking to pro-pot websites that happen to refer (no pun intended) to WP now? What is that about?

    • JustAnother says:

      I could be wrong but I think the trackbacks are the same as pingbacks, where the article has been referenced in another article.


    What ever happened to our children just staying at home and finishing homework, then watching a good movie with Mom and Dad?
    Instead, they get interested in bad things such as this, thanks to people who are suppose to teach them right from wrong. Don’t blame your children if they become interested in garbage such as this; after all, you don’t see a child behind the counter trying to sell the garbage, you see an adult.

    Thank you

    Adrienne Rattazzi


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