Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in North Carolina. Possession was decriminalized in 1977. Cannabis for medical use is illegal except for CBD oil in the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
There is one federally-recognized tribe in North Carolina, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The DOJ marijuana policy on tribal reservations applies to this North Carolina tribe, which is federally recognized as sovereign by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Interior Department.
For a complete list of North Carolina tribes and their locations, see our page about North Carolina Tribes.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recognize the challenges and business opportunities of the cannabis industry, but have not announced their interests or any business plans.
September 19, 2019
On Sept. 12 the Tribal Council of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians voted 11-1 to establish a commission to develop the findings of a feasibility study entitled "Hemp as a Feasible Commodity for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians".
The study was prepared by Hempleton Investment Group, an outside consulting firm, and submitted to the Council last July. The study focuses on industrial hemp, a non-psychoactive strain of cannabis.
The goals and objectives of the Commission will be:
Develop a Hemp Regulation Plan for submission to the USDA;
Research, draft, and submit to Tribal Council for its review and approval any necessary amendments to the Cherokee Code to support the Tribe's conduct of lawful activities in the hemp industry and development of economic opportunities for the Tribe in that industry and related industries;
Develop a long-range plan for the Cannabis Commission or other hemp regulatory industry entity for the Tribe;
Develop necessary administrative rules for review and approval under tribal law;
Develop a long-term economic plan for the Tribe regarding the hemp industry
Source: Cherokee One Feather.
The term of the Commission is Oct. 8, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2020.
July 10, 2019
On July 10 the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) received a feasibility study about the economic opportunities of industrial hemp. Its purpose is to identify potential long-term opportunities for revenue diversification.
The hemp study was commissioned by the council in February and prepared by the Hempleton Investment Group and the Knight Law Office. It is titled "Hemp as a Feasible Commodity for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians."
Hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant that contains less that 0.3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). There is no psychoactive element as in marijuana. Hemp provides durable fiber that is four times stronger than cotton.
The hemp feasibility study identified several business opportunities for the tribe and made some recommendations.
POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Agricultural production of industrial hemp
Hemp processing plant
Cherokee-branded CBD product line
Hemp genetics lab
Cannabinoid test lab
Hemp retail stores
The feasibility study recommends the tribe creates a Cannabis Industry Commission for sovereign regulation of cannabis on tribal land It also recommends and Industrial Hemp Program and submitting the plan to the USDA.
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October 29, 2018
A study to be conducted was recently approved by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that will determine the impacts of cannabis legalization. The feasibility study was approved during the Annual Council meeting that was held on October 25.
The study will be used to in effort to gather information about cannabis and the different uses.
This is the second time that a study of this type has been approved by the tribal leaders. The first time was in 2015. The Resolution from the study was vetoed by former Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. Stating that he was opposed to any type of use of drugs recreationally.
On Thursday references to recreational use were removed to the current legislation. The study will be used for education purposes and cover both hemp and cannabis uses. From this the tribe will be able to decide on the future of cannabis legalization on their land.
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