Native tribe to open first cannabis shop in North Carolina

The tribe selected April 20 to open because it’s “like New Year’s Eve at the casino” for cannabis.

North Carolina – one of the few remaining states in the U.S. that has yet to legalize medical or recreational marijuana – is about to get an operational weed store anyway, courtesy of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The Native American tribe plans to launch recreational cannabis sales on its reservation, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, on the cannabis holiday of April 20, The Charlotte Observer reported.

“Across the country, it’s the biggest revenue date for cannabis,” a staffer with the cannabis company told tribal leaders during a work session recently. “It’s like New Year’s Eve at the casino.”

The move by the tribe comes after a vote of members in September, in which a majority signed off on kickstarting recreational sales. The tribe already legalized medical marijuana, The Observer reported.

The dispensary will be located at the tribe’s old bingo hall, roughly 46 miles west of Asheville.

Native American tribes – which traditionally do not fall under the jurisdiction of state governments – have been launching cannabis businesses for years across the nation, often independent of the state-run marijuana regulatory regimes, but sometimes in cooperation with state officials.

North Carolina lawmakers have repeatedly attempted and failed to legalize medical marijuana at the state level.

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