North Carolina tribe to launch recreational marijuana sales July 4

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in North Carolina will launch recreational marijuana sales on the Fourth of July on tribal land.

The Great Smoky Cannabis Co. will begin selling adult-use products on the Qualla Boundary only four weeks after the EBCI Tribal Council approved recreational sales and less than three months after launching medical MJ sales.

The EBCI initially estimated it would be 30-75 days before adult-use sales could begin.

The Great Smoky Cannabis Co. in Cherokee will initially sell recreational marijuana products only to members of federally recognized Native American tribes, according to Blue Ridge Public Radio.

Adult-use sales to the general public could begin in August, Forrest Parker, general manager of Qualla Enterprises, told the radio outlet.

Qualla Enterprises is the vertically integrated cannabis enterprise owned by the EBCI.

The EBCI’s marijuana sales are an anomaly in North Carolina, which is one of 10 states where neither medical nor recreational cannabis has been legalized.

Native American tribes such as the EBCI are allowed to establish marijuana programs on tribal lands outside the scope and enforcement of state officials, although there has been pushback from North Carolina’s Republican U.S. senators and a district attorney.