In March North Carolina’s Senate voted 36 to 10 to pass a medical marijuana legalization bill, sending it to the House. The House could begin debate on the measure within the next month according to House Speaker Tim Moore.
Under Senate Bill 3 – the “Compassionate Care Act” – those with a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder would be allowed to possess and consume medical marijuana and marijuana products if they receive a recommendation from a licensed physician. Although the House in previous years has failed to act on medical marijuana legislation, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore thinks that could change this year.
“We have not voted on it yet in caucus”, Moore said in a recent interview. “I get the sense that there is a decent amount of support for medicinal use of cannabis. I don’t know that count but I suspect it will be a divided vote, much like the healthcare expansion legislation was”.
Moore says we should know “within the next month” whether or note the House will take up the issue. If they do, it’s likely because there’s enough support for its passage. If the House was to pass the measure, it would be sent to Governor Roy Cooper for consideration.
Although Moore certainly didn’t declare the House taking up the issue was a certainty, he noted that the medical marijuana bill “has a better chance of passing this year than in any time in the past”.
SB 3 would allow 10 medical marijuana suppliers to control the cultivation and sale of cannabis, with each allowed to operate up to eight dispensaries. A Compassionate Use Advisory Board would be established to consider adding new conditions that would qualify an individual to become a medical marijuana patient. The measure would also establish a Medical Cannabis Production Commission to regulate and oversee marijuana supplies.
More information on Senate Bill 3 including its full text can be found by clicking here.
A different marijuana proposal, House Bill 626, was recently passed through its first reading and assigned to the House Committee On Rules, Calendar, and Operations. House Bill 626 would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants for those 21 and older, while also establishing a regulated and taxed legal marijuana industry.