The tribal government of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, well-known in North Carolina for having the first lawful casino in the state, this month voted to begin making and selling medical marijuana on Cherokee tribal territory, known as the Qualla Boundary.
This is about 50 miles west of Asheville in the Western North Carolina mountains. It includes the town of Cherokee and the Cherokee land in Swain and Jackson counties.
A Cherokee tribal official spoke with the USA TODAY Network about the program and how it will operate. Here are eight things to know about it:
1. Will visitors will be allowed to buy it?
Yes. People who aren’t Cherokee will be allowed to visit the tribe and buy medical marijuana from the Cherokee dispensary, said Jeremy Wilson, the governmental affairs liaison for Principal Chief Richard B. Sneed.
But any potential customer will have to share health records with the tribe’s Cannabis Control Board, the medical marijuana ordinance says. The board will review the health records and decide whether to issue the person a medical cannabis patient card, which is required for the purchase of medical marijuana in the Qualla Boundary.
The person must be age 21 or older to receive the card.