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North Carolina’s Cherokee chief rejects a $64 million proposal to build the state’s first dispensary

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A North Carolina tribal leader has reportedly vetoed a $64 million proposal in additional spending for what is expected to be the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary.

the Charlotte Observer reports That Richard Snead, Principal Chief of the Eastern Division of the Cherokee Indians, said in a Facebook post Friday that he “vetoed the recent Tribal Council approval of the final $64 million for the project because the original proposal said the entire project would be completed for $50 million.”

“The fact that the original cost of this project for the outdoor growing, indoor growing, and indoor dispensary was $50 million, and we are now told it was $95 million, shows that there is an immediate need for a full account of the money that has been spent thus far,” Snead wrote in the letter, As quoted from Charlotte Observer.

The tribe is currently planning to open a mega cannabis store that will be the first marijuana dispensary in North Carolina. According to the Charlotte Observer“The Cherokee are transforming their massive old bingo hall into a dispensary that’s the first of its kind in North Carolina—the only location within a three-hour drive of Charlotte where weed is sold legally.”

The eastern band of the Cherokee Indians approved an ordinance in 2021 to legalize medical cannabis on their lands.

“The Board’s approval of the medical marijuana law is a testament to the changing attitudes toward legal marijuana and an acknowledgment of the growing body of evidence supporting cannabis as a drug, particularly for those with debilitating conditions such as cancer and chronic pain,” Snead said at the time.

In November, the tribe Announce that it has begun The first harvest of the marijuana crop.

There are no other dispensaries in North Carolina, where medical and recreational cannabis is illegal under state law, but the Cherokee, as with other tribes across the United States, have sovereignty over their land.

According to the Charlotte ObserverIn a Facebook post on Friday, Snead attached a copy of a letter he sent to Tribal Council Chairman Richard French informing him of the veto and the reason for it.

the observer He has more background on the dispute:

Snead told French that he “fully supports cannabis, both for medical use and for adults.” He added that he was “encouraged and inspired” by the tribal workers in the growing operation at Copper Creek on the borders of the Cala Boundary in the Cherokee. The operation is operated by Qualla Enterprises LLC, the for-profit medical cannabis arm of the tribe. However, Snead told French, “I am very upset about the lack of accountability for managing the commercial side of the process. The current projected cost is almost 100% over budget compared to the original projected RFP cost. RFP stands for ‘Request for Proposal’.”

The clinic is expected to open sometime this year.

Lawmakers in the North Carolina legislature pushed a bill that would legalize medical cannabis treatment in the state.

Republican State Senator Bill Rabone Submit a bill Earlier this year it called the “North Carolina Compassionate Care Act,” which would legalize treatment for a range of qualifying conditions including: “cancer; epilepsy; HIV positive status; immunodeficiency syndrome.” AIDS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Crohn’s disease Sickle cell anemia Parkinson’s disease Post-traumatic stress disorder… Multiple sclerosis Cachexia or wasting syndrome Severe or persistent nausea in a non-pregnant person associated with end-of-life care hospice care, or bed or home confinement due to a condition; terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months; [or] A condition that results in an individual receiving hospice care.”

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