Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to Vote on Recreational Marijuana in Landmark Ballot Referendum, Paving the Way for North Carolina’s Cannabis Revolution

Cherokee <a href="https://leafyleaks.com/tag/tribe/" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Tribe">Tribe</a> <a rel="nofollow" title="Marijuana" href="https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/cannabis-marijuana">Marijuana</a> Referendum to Shape North Carolina’s <a rel="nofollow" title="Cannabis" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis">Cannabis</a> Landscape

Cherokee Tribe Marijuana Referendum to Shape North Carolina’s Cannabis Landscape

In a groundbreaking move, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is set to hold a momentous ballot referendum in September, offering North Carolina residents the prospect of accessing recreational . The tribal council’s recent approval of the ballot question marks a pivotal step toward legalizing marijuana possession and sales from the Qualla Boundary, located approximately 45 miles west of Asheville.

Should the ballot referendum gain approval, the sales of marijuana would extend to all individuals aged 21 and above, further bolstering the tribe’s existing medical marijuana program that commenced serving North Carolina residents in . Despite ongoing funding challenges delaying the construction of what could potentially be the world’s largest medical marijuana retail outlet near Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, the tribe’s marijuana business, Qualla Enterprises, has already flourished, cultivating cannabis worth a staggering $25 million.

With a substantial membership of about 14,000, including approximately 9,600 residing in the Qualla Boundary, the federally recognized tribe initially decriminalized marijuana possession in 2021. Their pioneering medical marijuana program is set to become the first of its kind in the Old North State.

The tribal ballot referendum’s approval is likely to solidify the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ stronghold on marijuana sales in North Carolina. State House Tim Moore, a Republican from Cleveland County, signaled that legislation to establish a state medical program in the current year is facing a challenging path in the lower chamber.

The Compassionate Care Act, known as Senate 3, had already secured a vote of 36-10 in the Senate in March, but its progress has stalled in the House, where it only received a single informational hearing. A similar proposal faced a similar fate in the House during the previous session.

Senator Bill Rabon, a Republican from Brunswick County and the sponsor of SB3, testified about how medical marijuana played a pivotal role in his own battle against colon cancer two decades ago. In June, he linked the fate of SB3 to House Bill 75, a piece of legislation aimed at allowing some physician assistants to practice without supervision.

As of now, HB75 remains pending in the House rules , while SB3 is under the purview of the House Committee on . If SB3 were to become , it would enable patients over the of 21 with certain debilitating conditions to seek approval from the state to purchase medical marijuana from up to 10 licensed growers, each authorized to operate eight sales centers. According to the most recent fiscal analysis, a 10 percent gross revenue fee on sales could generate an estimated $50.4 million for the state by 2028-29.

With the Cherokee Tribe Marijuana Referendum looming on the horizon, North Carolina stands at a pivotal crossroads, and the outcome of this historic vote is set to shape the state’s cannabis landscape for years to come.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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