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|The sale of cannabis for any use is illegal in North Carolina with one exception – in Cherokee, where it’s legal for medical purposes on land controlled by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians known as Qualla Boundary.|
Medical marijuana is now legal for selling and growing in one part of North Carolina.
Cannabis is legal on Cherokee land according to a statement by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. On Aug. 5, an ordinance was approved by its tribal council to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes in the town of Cherokee, also known as the Qualla Boundary.
“The Council’s approval of a medical marijuana ordinance is a testament to the changing attitudes toward legal marijuana and a recognition of the growing body of evidence that supports cannabis as medicine, particularly for those with debilitating conditions like cancer and chronic pain,” Principal Chief Richard Sneed said in a statement.
Tribal members and non-members who qualify will be able to receive recommendations and eventually buy medical cannabis at a dispensary within Qualla Boundary. Under the ordinance, patients will be able to purchase up to an ounce a day, or no more than six ounces per month.
Cherokee is home to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation and has its own sovereign government.
The decision comes after North Carolina lawmakers are considering the legalization of cannabis across the state, through Senate Bill 711, which would have to be passed by both chambers of the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper.
As of May, there are 36 states and four territories where medicinal cannabis is legal, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eighteen states, two U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to regulate cannabis for recreational use. North Carolina is one of 14 states where marijuana sales – medical or recreational – are prohibited.
Aaliyah Bowden, who covers health at The Post, is a Report for America corps member.