The North Carolina General Assembly has approved medical marijuana moving it one step closer towards legalization!
If you live in North Carolina and you are currently awaiting a legalized medical marijuana program, then you should be happy as you are one step closer to achieving your goal.
The North Carolina General Assembly recently approved medical marijuana use, and the NC Compassionate Care Act made it past another hurdle.
The State’s Judiciary Committee approved the legislation via remote vote after hearing testimonies throughout the last week. However, don’t rush out straight away to see your doctor for a medical marijuana card. It still needs to move through three different panels before it goes before the house floor.
What Is Senate Bill 711?
Reviewing Senate Bill 711, it is obvious North Carolina is taking calculated and thought-out steps towards much more than just a medical marijuana program. Moreover, it’s clear to see from other states and countries that have legalized marijuana and introduced state-run cannabis operations that there is money to be made and money to be saved.
Senate Bill 711 not only aims to legalize medical marijuana, but under the bill, ten ‘seed-to-sale providers will be responsible for the processing and cultivation of cannabis plants. This also includes the cultivation, processing, packaging, and distribution of cannabis products.
In addition, each of the ten providers will be allocated four cannabis dispensaries throughout the state.
There are limitations and regulations in Bill 711, but there will also be a lot of competition among cannabis suppliers to be one of those ten. One of the biggest incentives for cannabis companies to enter the North Carolina market is the hope that they will see the legalization of recreational marijuana in the future.
Of course, we all know that CBD is legal in North Carolina.
The Committee Has Faith in the New Bill
The motion was sponsored by the Chairman of the Rules Committee, Bill Rabon, which allows patients access to medical marijuana if they have a qualifying condition.
Like many other states, the medical condition would need to be debilitating and serious and includes conditions that we can not mention here due to FDA requirements Stirling does not make and disease claims.
An amendment to the bill added recently would see the establishment of a 13-member Medical Cannabis Advisory Board that would review petitions to add other medical conditions to the list of approved medical marijuana conditions.
Separate to that, a 9-member Medical Cannabis Production Commission would be established to provide a safe and regulated supply of medical marijuana to the program along with establishing a medical marijuana card identification program, seed-to-sale tracking system, and ensuring that the program delivers high-quality marijuana that financially viable for suppliers and patients.
The program also needs to generate enough revenue to cover the cost and the department to maintain and operate for the future.
The lawmakers hope that the new bill will allow law-abiding citizens to access high-quality medical marijuana without obtaining it from the black market or other illegal operations.
“Modern medical research has found that cannabis and cannabinoid compounds are effective at alleviating pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with several debilitating medical conditions,” Senate Bill 711 states.
Almost two-thirds of people surveyed in an Elon University poll support a medical marijuana program, and 54% of people surveyed support the full legalization of marijuana.
Bill Rabon, himself a c*a*n*c*e*r survivor, pushed for the bill because of his own experiences fighting c*a*n*c*e*r. While he hasn’t stated whether or not he used medical marijuana during his battle with c*a*n*c*e*r, he did have this to say, “I’m not going to go into the details of my medical treatment,” he said. “What I can tell you is, for some people, cannabis is the only product that relieves the symptoms of the poison injected into your body, and that relief can be immediate.”
The Stories and Inspiration Behind the NC Bill
It wasn’t just politicians who promoted this new bill. The success of the new bill will rely heavily on the compassionate stories which the house received from people that supported medical marijuana.
Surprisingly, one of those stories came from Majority leader Kathy Harrington, whose husband was diagnosed with a terrible blood disease. She insisted that six months ago, she wouldn’t have supported the bill, but “If you had asked me six months ago if I would support this bill, I would have said no,” Harrington said. “But life comes at you fast.”
North Carolina Move Puts Pressure On Neighboring States
The move by North Carolina to establish a medical marijuana program is seen as a positive move by cannabis supporters across the country. However, it has also forced other states to consider their own stance on marijuana. One example of this is Virginia, the first southern state to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
It’s hoped that as more states join in with legalized medical marijuana and recreational marijuana programs that federal regulations will shift to provide a more uniform framework to cannabis laws across the country.
North Carolina General Assembly Gives Medical Marijuana Tick of Approval – Conclusion
North Carolina has approached medical marijuana with a unique and organized approach that will help to establish a well ran and funded medical marijuana program.
While at the same time, they also doubled down on harsh laws for those that would traffic large amounts of cannabis on the black market.
While it has taken North Carolina a little longer than other states to establish its medical marijuana program, it is a positive step forward in the right direction, supported by a large percentage of the state’s population.
Hopefully, this move by North Carolina will put added pressure on other southern states to establish their own medical marijuana programs and look towards the full legalization of recreational marijuana.