Cherokee OK Marijuana sales to any NC adult at new superstore

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Cherokee OK Marijuana sales to any NC adult at new superstore

Cherokee Tribe Votes to Expand Cannabis Sales to Adults Statewide in North Carolina.

The Cherokee tribal council on Thursday voted to expand sales at the tribe’s new medical marijuana dispensary in the North Carolina mountains to any adult in the state.

The dispensary is the first and only place people can buy cannabis legally in North Carolina. Until Thursday’s vote, buyers needed a medical cannabis card from the tribe’s Cannabis Control Board. Starting as soon as August, that will no longer be the case.

The vote came nine months after Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians members approved a referendum by over 70% to allow adult use of cannabis on their 57,000-acre Qualla Boundary and other lands.

Tribal leaders spent months crafting the required adult-use ordinance that the council approved Thursday. The ordinance allows any adult, including North Carolina residents and others, to buy products at the tribe’s cannabis superstore that opened April 30 near Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

The tribe opened the dispensary in its renovated former bingo hall at U.S. 19 and Bingo Loop Road, 46 miles west of Asheville in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The ordinance legalizes recreational use of marijuana on the Qualla Boundary and allows Qualla Enterprises to sell marijuana at the dispensary to any adult recreational user.

The packed audience at Thursday’s tribal council meeting broke out in a applause after the vote, according a livestream of the meeting.

When can I buy Cherokee marijuana?

Adult-use sales at the dispensary will open first to adult tribal members, likely in July, said Forrest Parker, general manager of Qualla Enterprises, the tribe’s cannabis subsidiary.

North Carolina residents 21 and older can buy products beginning in early to mid-August, although no specific date has been set, Parker said at a recent council work session where council members finalized language in the adult-use ordinance.

Marijuana revenue estimates

Before the Sept. 7 vote by tribal members to approve adult use of marijuana on tribal land, the tribe on the 57,000-acre Qualla Boundary had already approved the use and controlled sale of medical cannabis.

The dispensary could generate nearly $206 million in gross sales revenues in its first year if limited to medical patients, compared with $385 million if product is available to all adult users, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

The figures were released by Qualla Enterprises before last year’s adult-use referendum.

In its fifth year, the dispensary could generate a respective $578 million and $843 million in gross sales revenues, according to the estimate.

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Region: North Carolina

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