HomeNewsNorth Carolina Medical Cannabis Legislation Progresses

North Carolina Medical Cannabis Legislation Progresses

Will 2024 be the year North Carolina finally legalizes medical cannabis?

Most US states have legalised medical cannabis in some form, but North Carolina is among the handful of holdouts. This hasn’t been through a lack of trying by some lawmakers, with various legislative attempts over the years. It was thought legislation could make it over the line in 2023, but it wasn’t to be.

This year, North Carolina senators are again pursuing medical legalization, this time adding wording from the Compassionate Care Act to a bill regarding hemp product regulations – House Bill 563. This would allow medical marijuana to be used to treat or manage a range of debilitating conditions and establish a licensing system.

While the legislation reportedly passed the Senate by quite a margin, the bill will undergo a second Senate vote today. But even if it passes muster in the Senate, getting it through the House poses a challenge as many Republicans still remain opposed to the idea. At this point, there’s little indication how it will fare.

Senator Bill Rabon filed the previously defeated NC Compassionate Care Act (SB3). Commenting to NC Newsline on the unusual situation with House Bill 563 incorporating Compassionate Care Act wording that more than doubled the number of pages in 563, Senator Rabon said:

“We’ve had the issue clouded and clouded and clouded many times. And in my opinion, when the clouds were that thick, it’s time for it to rain.”

There has been ongoing strong support for medical legalization in North Carolina. In a Meredith Poll conducted January 26-31, 2024, 78% of North Carolinians supported it, with only 18 percent of respondents being opposed. Meredith College noted support for such legislation was present in every demographic group in the state, even among the most conservative residents.

“North Carolina is one of only 12 states without some form of legal medical marijuana,” said Meredith Poll Director David McLennan at the time. “With the public strongly behind such a law and most within the medical community supporting this legislation, it seems like this might be a good time to pass such a bill.”

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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