Tribal Council Criticized By Members: Stop delaying Cherokee marijuana sales to any adults who want it


Two prominent members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians criticized the tribal council recently for the time it’s taking to expand sales at the tribe’s new medical cannabis superstore to all adults.

Council members replied at a May 7 council work session that plans remain on track to approve the required ordinance in June.

“This was the plan all along,” council member Michael Stamper said at the work session in response to criticism by fellow council member Richard French and former council member Teresa McCoy. “This isn’t kickin’ it down the road.

Great Smoky Cannabis Company opened April 20 as the only dispensary in the state where such marijuana sales are legal. But sales are limited to those with a medical cannabis card issued by the tribe’s Cannabis Control Board or a similar board out of state.

The dispensary is in the tribe’s massive former bingo hall at U.S. 19 and Bingo Loop Road, near Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, 46 miles west of Asheville in the Great Smoky Mountains.

In a historic vote on Sept. 7, tribal members by 70% approved 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.

But adult or recreational use for people without a medical card remains illegal on the Qualla Boundary until the tribal council finishes crafting and then approves an adult-use ordinance.

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