The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has approved growing, selling and using medical marijuana on its lands in Western North Carolina, tribal leaders announced Thursday.
The tribal council’s approval of the medical marijuana ordinance makes the territory the first place in the state where medical cannabis is legal, The Charlotte Observer reported. The Cherokee maintain a sovereign nation in Western North Carolina known as the Qualla Boundary.
The approval testifies to “the changing attitudes toward legal marijuana and a recognition of the growing body of evidence that supports cannabis as medicine,” Principal Chief Richard Sneed said in a statement. The timeline for the tribe’s medical cannabis program was not immediately clear.
Medical use of cannabis is legal in 36 states and four U.S. territories, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eighteen states, two territories and the District of Columbia allow small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use.
A Cannabis Control Board will control licensing for cultivation, processing and sale of marijuana and it will issue cards allowing people to buy marijuana at the dispensary, according to a news release. People will be limited to buying one ounce of marijuana per day, not to exceed six ounces per month.