North Carolina’s First Medical Cannabis Crop Harvest
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North Carolina's First Medical Cannabis Crop Harvest

According to The Charlotte Observer the cultivation site is located in eastern part of state in The Qualla Boundary. The tribe will begin harvesting on Nov. 18 and will open the state’s largest medical cannabis dispensary sometime in 2023. It will be located in an abandoned building that was once used for bingo. Forrest Parker, general manager of Qualla Enterprises LLC said, “I’m really proud that my tribe took this step, one with a betterment of the community in mind.” The cannabis business will create 400 to 500 jobs (with “several hundreds” of applications already received for different positions), which will bring the EBCI’s total number of employed to 7,500. Parker stated that the employment opportunity is what makes Parker’s job so special. “We can teach them skills that they can use for their whole lives in what’s a very well-paying profession.” Parker said. 539, which legalized medical marijuana on tribal land in August 2021. The Tribal Council saw cannabis not only as a benefit to medical patients, but also as a step in the state’s efforts to legalize medical cannabis. Principal Chief Richard Sneed stated that the Council’s approval for a medical marijuana ordinance is a testimony to changing attitudes towards legal cannabis and a recognition the growing body of evidence supporting cannabis as medicine, especially for patients with debilitating conditions such as cancer. The tribe will also control all aspects related to production. “It all starts as a seed…and then develops into the plant that is the foundation of all cannabis. All products sold to the public will come from EBCI Farms. The website states that everything from seed to sale starts here. The business plans to produce cannabis flowers, pre-rolls edibles, concentrates and topicals. It must be planted. It must be cultivated. It must be harvested. It must be processed. We need to package it, move it through all the product network and get it there. It’s a lot people,” Parker said to ABC13 News. The ECBI also has its Cannabis Control Board. This board consists of five law enforcement and healthcare experts who manage the tribe’s cannabis regulations. Non-tribe members can purchase no more than one ounce per day of cannabis, but not more than six ounces per month. The limit also applies to non-tribe members who may purchase up to one ounce of cannabis per day. However, this is limited to no more than 2,500 mg of THC per day. This does not include any more than six ounces per month. Also in New York, the Saint Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk Tribe partnered with actor Jim Belushi to open a dispensary on Oct. 27, called Belushi’s Farm Akwesasne.Additionally, the Seneca Nation of Indians announced that its building a cannabis dispensary in the city of Niagara Falls, New York, which is slated to open in February 2023 as well. “After extensive planning and research, the Seneca Nation is excited about creating a new, Nation owned business in the growing, competitive cannabis market,” said Rickey Armstrong Sr., President of Seneca Nation. There are many tribal-owned and operated dispensaries in the country, including the Iipay Nation Tribe’s Mountain Source Santa Ysabel, located northeast of San Diego, and the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace in Nevada. The National Indigenous Cannabis Policy Summit was held in Washington, D.C. on November 15-16. The event website states that the Summit brings together Tribal leaders and elected officials, business, veterans groups, advocacy organizations, and business to solve the most pressing problems and opportunities for Indian Country.


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