New North Carolina Bill Would Legalize Marijuana, Expunge Past Offenses

A group of seven North Carolina Senators have filed legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Senate Bill 346 was filed by Senator Graig Meyer with six cosponsors. The measure would legalize, for those 21 and older, the possession of up to two ounces of dried marijuana, up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates (hash, oil, etc.) and up to 2,000 mg in THC worth of edibles. The proposal would also allow for the personal cultivation of up to six plants.

Senate Bill 346 would also lead to the “automatic expunction of certain marijuana offenses.” Specifically if anyone was convicted of a possession charge that would’ve been legal under the bill’s text, that charge would be automatically expunged “no later than July 1, 2026.”

The bill would also create an Office of Social Equity in order to “promote and encourage full participation in the regulated cannabis industry by people from communities that have previously been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition and enforcement, in order to positively impact those communities.”

If passed the measure would establish a 20% tax on marijuana sales, with localities allowed to institute an additional tax of up to 3%. The tax revenues would be split as follows:

  • 25% to a Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund created by the bill.
  • 10% to a Social Equity Fund created by the bill.
  • 3% to a Cannabis Education and Technical Assistance Fund created by the bill.
  • 7% to the Department of Health and Human Services for evidence-based, voluntary programs for substance abuse treatment or prevention.
  • 2% to the DHHS for a public education campaign for youth and adults about the health and safety risks of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other substances, including driving while impaired.
  • 2% to the DHHS for cannabis research.
  • Up to 1% to the Department of Public Safety for advanced impaired driving enforcement and drug recognition training.
  • 50% to the general fund.

More information on Senate Bill 346 can be found here.

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