The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians intends to launch a cannabis legalization study.
The study’s goals are to determine the outcome of cannabis legalization and the positive or negative impacts it would have on the Qualla Boundary. Additionally, the study aims to provide a deeper understanding of cannabis legalization and other educational aspects. Tribe members, like Councilmember Jeremy Wilson, hope to educate people about the wide range of opportunities that come with partial or full cannabis legalization.
Research on cannabis impacts is also being conducted to prepare for the possibility that North Carolina, where the Qualla Boundary resides within, could legalize cannabis and put the tribe behind in information and ability to act. The study is yet to be funded from the tribe’s general fund at an estimated cost range of $40,000 to $50,000. A completion deadline of “finished by April” is affixed to the study.
Councilmember of Wolfetown, Jeremy Wilson, stated: “It’s not just about cannabis, it’s about can cannabis help the issues we currently talk about and face?” Councilmember Wilson also said, “There are some tribes out west who are able to make $1 million per 10 acres of hemp. That’s going to create a new revenue stream or opportunity for our farmers.”
The educational aspects of the study were also addressed by Councilmember Jeremy Wilson as he stated: “I think it would be expedient for us to at least understand the implications of recreational [cannabis]. There has to be an increasing effort for education for people, and I think that’s what we’re lacking.”
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