N.C. ‘Marijuana Superstore’ set to open April 20th sparks concerns from Sens. Budd and Tillis | Eastern North Carolina Now

By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
March 8, 2024

North Carolina’s two U.S. senators are raising concerns about a “marijuana superstore” on land governed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and set to open on April 20th of this year. The joint letter to law enforcement and multiple government officials says that the operation threatens to violate state and federal law.

The controversial dispensary would be controlled by the Cherokee tribe and Qualla Enterprise LLC, which would produce, cultivate and sell marijuana on land in the western part of the state. U.S. Sens. Ted Budd and Thom Tillis sent the letter to eight individuals, including the heads of the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The letter also was sent to a local district attorney and the Swain County sheriff.

The letter says Budd and Tillis have “heard directly from North Carolinians who have communicated their concerns about the” superstore.

“As our nation is facing an unprecedented drug crisis that is harming our communities, it is vital to learn what measures your departments and agencies are taking to uphold current federal and state laws,” they wrote.

Budd and Tillis raised several concerns. Among them:

— The marijuana would be transported from the farm to the reservation by crossing a state road in Swain County.

— The owners of the business lack a testing lab to “conduct potency and safety assessments of their products.”

— The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) “prohibits the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, and possession of marijuana.”

— Federal anti-money laundering laws “criminalize the handling of proceeds derived from various unlawful activities, including marijuana sales in violation of the CSA.”

— Federal law “requires financial institutions to have policies, record keeping, and processes in place both to ensure that their clients are not engaging in unlawful behavior, such as selling products under CSA.”

— State law bans the sale of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia.

The letter asks the officials to answer a series of questions about what they are doing to enforce the laws on the books.

“At what point is the transportation of marijuana considered trafficking?” the letter asks. “Are federally recognized tribes immune from state and federal enforcement?”

Further, the letter says, governments “have the responsibility to ensure our youth are shielded” from marijuana.

“This raises multiple questions on how North Carolina communities will be kept safe,” the letter says.

Tribal members last year voted to approve the sale of marijuana on Cherokee land. The dispensary will be located near the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, thanked Budd and Tillis for addressing the issue.

“Their joint letter to key law enforcement officials underscores the gravity of this situation, emphasizing the need for clarity and action amidst concerns raised by scores of North Carolinians,” Creech said. “With marijuana remaining illegal at the federal and state levels, it is imperative that stringent measures are in place to uphold existing laws. As both Tillis and Budd rightly point out, amidst America’s unprecedented drug crisis, it is essential to ensure that our youth are shielded from the potential risks associated with untested marijuana products.

“Furthermore, their questions regarding the potential implications of the operation, such as the attraction of transnational criminal organizations and the enforcement of transportation laws, underscore the multifaceted nature of the issue. In light of the forthcoming dispensary opening, it is crucial all relevant stakeholders work together to address these concerns and uphold the rule of law. We will be eagerly waiting for responses from the addressed officials and trust their actions will reflect the best interests of our state and its citizens.”

The North Carolina legislature, Creech said, should also weigh in on the issue.

“As representatives of the people of North Carolina, their input and actions are essential for ensuring every aspect of this matter is thoroughly addressed,” Creech said. “The collaboration between our state lawmakers and the General Assembly would reinforce the unified stance of our state government in safeguarding the well-being of our communities and upholding the rule of law.

“We urge the members of the General Assembly to join Senators Budd and Tillis in advocating for transparency, accountability, and the protection of our citizens’ interests.”

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Big Bob said:
( March 11th, 2024 @ 12:37 pm )
I agree. If one gun isn’t enough, try 2. There are like 100 million guns in the US and clearly the country is a shooting gallery. Maybe 100 million more might do the trick! More guns equals more safety. We just need more!
( March 11th, 2024 @ 12:05 pm )
You never will get it, Little Bobbie. All it takes is the possibility of a good guy with a gun being in a place to scare off most of the nuts looking to be a mass shooter. Gun free zones are what they look for.
Big Bob said:
( March 10th, 2024 @ 7:04 pm )
Exactly. Large crowds of armed people is definitely the answer. Just add alcohol. What could go wrong?
Big Bob said:
( March 10th, 2024 @ 7:23 pm )
Exactly. Large crowds of armed people is definitely the answer. Just add alcohol. What could go wrong?
( March 10th, 2024 @ 2:41 pm )
Almost all mass shootings happen in gun free zones. Mass shooters are cowards and commit their crimes where they don't think anyone will be able to shoot back. The best way to stop mass shootings is to ban gun free zones.
Big Bob said:
( March 10th, 2024 @ 5:39 am )
More guns equal more safety and peace of mind. The millions of guns flooding the country just don’t seem to get the job done. The obvious answer is, more guns!
( March 9th, 2024 @ 7:53 pm )
People kill people, not the instrument that they use. If they can't get one instrument, they will use another. Countries with gun control see mass assaults with knives, motor vehicles, etc. It is mostly done by people with mental health issues, and that is what needs to be addressed with more institutionalization .

As to fentynal, we need to declare the Mexican cartels that produce and run it terrorist groups and take them out with drones and hellfire missiles.
Do Better said:
( March 9th, 2024 @ 4:53 pm )
Let's start at the top of the list. Number one. GUNS. PLEASE send all the Assembly men Senator's letters about.Guns.and the drugs that truly kill everyday people. It not the ones u r making a fuss about. Things that are important you seem to overlook. So if these laws truly need to change . They are for only certain people.
Spike1nc said:
( March 9th, 2024 @ 4:32 pm )
And although I don't smoke marijuana because I'm allergic to it, this is exactly why the state and federal government need to get off their own high horse's and legalize it for medical and psychological usage.
Linda said:
( March 9th, 2024 @ 3:30 pm )
It is something that has been around for ages. Leave it alone. Concentrate on the real issues. Get rid of fentynal and the drugs that are killing people

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