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Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Paves the Way for Medical Marijuana Access

North Carolina’s First Legal Cannabis


In an unprecedented move, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians EBCI has taken a bold step towards medical marijuana legalization in North Carolina. This week, they will commence the issuance of medical marijuana cards, marking the sale of the state’s first legal cannabis.


Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Paves the Way for Medical Marijuana Access
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Paves the Way for Medical Marijuana Access

This initiative stems from a landmark vote in September that sanctioned the sale and use of marijuana on tribal land.


Initially, only enrolled tribal members will be eligible to receive these cards. However, the plan is to extend this privilege to other residents of North Carolina in due time. The Cherokee Indians’ Cannabis Control Board reveals a surge of interest, with over a thousand applications for patient cards already lodged.


Kevin Caldwell, the Southeast Legislative Manager for the Marijuana Policy Project, lauded this initiative. He emphasized that it’s a promising start towards establishing a thriving industry for the tribe, which could, eventually, ripple out to benefit the broader North Carolina community.

Last Year the Tribe Decriminalizing Possession of Marijuana


Last year witnessed the tribe decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of marijuana within their 57,000-acre domain known as the Qualla Boundary. In addition to this, a robust medical marijuana framework was established, inclusive of a tribe-managed enterprise to cultivate and vend cannabis. A substantial dispensary is underway, poised to become the lone legal marijuana outlet in North Carolina.


Caldwell pointed out that this progressive move sends a potent message regarding medical marijuana legislation. He believes what the Cherokee Nation is initiating now could significantly propel the medical marijuana discourse forward.

  • A bill hovering in the North Carolina Senate proposes that the state could garner an estimated $15.1 million from medical marijuana, primarily from patient and caregiver card application fees, plus a ten percent cut from the gross revenue.

  • Projections stretch to a potential $44.4 million influx by 2028.

  • Colorado raked in over $325 million from cannabis tax revenue last year, the economic incentive is glaring.


The board is diligently working on issuing agent cards to control board staff and cannabis industry personnel, aiming to distribute patient cards within the upcoming week.


This unfolding narrative underscores a hopeful trajectory for medical cannabis in North Carolina, potentially setting a precedent for other regions.



Medical Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment options.

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