North Carolina Medical Marijuana Bill Fails to Gain GOP Support, Delays Loom for Patients

Medical <a rel="nofollow" title="Marijuana" href="https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/cannabis-marijuana">Marijuana</a> Bill Struggles for GOP Backing in North Carolina, Impacts Patients’ Hope

Medical Marijuana Bill Struggles for GOP Backing in North Carolina, Impacts Patients’ Hope

North Carolina’s efforts to legalize medical marijuana face an uphill battle as the bill struggles to gain support from the GOP, causing delays and uncertainties for patients in need. House Speaker Tim Moore (R) stated that the bill’s success hinges on securing a majority of the Republican caucus’ support, which appears elusive for this legislative session.

House Majority Leader John Bell (R) shares Moore’s , expressing doubts about the bill’s advancement due to insufficient backing from Republicans. Despite some GOP members showing support, it seems unlikely to reach the required majority. The bill, championed by Senator Bill Rabon (R), has been a longstanding endeavor, but even new tactics, like attaching amendments to unrelated bills, failed to sway the opposing chamber.

Senator Julie Mayfield (D), one of the bill’s sponsors, emphasizes the urgent need to legalize medical cannabis in North Carolina. With overwhelming support from Democrats, Mayfield believes the bill would pass if brought to a . However, House Speaker Moore’s reluctance to do so stifles progress.

The proposed medical cannabis legislation, known as SB 3, aims to allow patients suffering from qualifying conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD to access and purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Smoking and vaping would be permitted, but doctors must prescribe specific methods and dosages, reevaluating patients’ eligibility annually.

SB 3 envisions up to 10 medical marijuana suppliers overseeing cultivation and sales, each operating up to eight dispensaries—an increase from the earlier version. The bill also establishes a Compassionate Use Advisory and a Medical Cannabis Production to ensure a steady cannabis supply, oversee licensing, and generate program revenue.

Additionally, the bill seeks to create a North Carolina Cannabis Research Program aimed at conducting scientific research on medical cannabis administration. While the legislation lacks specific equity , it prioritizes public health and safety in regulating cannabis cultivation, processing, and sales.

in North Carolina indicates strong support for medical cannabis legalization, with approximately three in four voters backing the reform, according to a poll released in February. Roy Cooper (D) has also expressed his belief in the bill’s potential to pass and his continued support for broader cannabis decriminalization, considering racial disparities in enforcement.

Governor Cooper’s support for decriminalization emerged recently, reflecting a towards “ending the stigma” and exploring options for providing relief to individuals with prior cannabis-related convictions. A North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, chaired by Attorney General Josh Stein (D), recommended decriminalization and a on broader cannabis sales legalization.

Currently, possessing more than half an ounce up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis in North Carolina is a class 1 misdemeanor, leading to potential imprisonment of up to 45 days and a $200 fine. In 2019, there were 3,422 charges and 1,909 convictions related to this offense, disproportionately affecting nonwhite individuals.

Amid these developments, a separate bill in June advanced in a North Carolina House committee to create a $5 million grant program for researching the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and MDMA, overseen by a Breakthrough Therapies Research Advisory Board.

As the medical marijuana bill’s fate remains uncertain, North Carolina residents continue to hope for a breakthrough in the GOP’s support, allowing the legalization of medical cannabis to benefit those in need.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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