Marijuana News

North Carolina Lawmakers Debate Medical Marijuana Legalization Amid New Hemp Regulations

North Carolina Lawmakers Debate Medical Marijuana Legalization Amid New Hemp Regulations


Medical marijuana legalization in North Carolina has been a topic of debate and discussion among lawmakers for several years. While the Senate has shown strong support for legalizing medical marijuana, the House has been more hesitant to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. However, a potential compromise may be on the horizon. Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) recently expressed openness to considering new regulations for CBD and hemp-derived products, a move that could pave the way for the medical marijuana bill to gain traction in the House.

The Senate's medical marijuana bill, which was passed 36-10 last March, would allow patients with specified debilitating medical conditions, such as cancer or epilepsy, to access medical marijuana with a doctor's prescription. Despite the Senate's support, the bill has faced resistance in the House, where Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has stated that there is not enough support among House Republicans to bring the bill to the floor.

In an effort to bridge the gap between the Senate and the House, Sen. Berger has indicated a willingness to take up one of the House's bills that would put new regulations on hemp-derived consumable products. This would require a license to sell these products and ban them from school grounds. Berger believes that by addressing the House's concerns with these products, it may be possible to reach an agreement on the medical marijuana bill.

However, some lawmakers, such as Sen. Graig Meyer (D-Orange), believe that the medical marijuana bill needs to be amended to include provisions for decriminalization, allowing North Carolinians to participate in the industry, and reinvesting profits into communities most affected by drugs. Meyer has been vocal about the need for a more comprehensive approach to cannabis legalization, citing a 2020 report by the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity that showed significant racial disparities in marijuana-related arrests and convictions.

The issue of medical marijuana legalization in North Carolina is further complicated by the recent opening of a medical marijuana dispensary on the tribal land of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. This development highlights the growing demand for medical marijuana in the state and puts additional pressure on lawmakers to reach a compromise.

As the legislative session continues, the fate of medical marijuana legalization in North Carolina remains uncertain. However, the willingness of Senate leader Phil Berger to consider new regulations on hemp-derived products suggests that there may be room for negotiation and compromise between the Senate and the House. As lawmakers continue to debate the issue, it remains to be seen whether a deal can be reached that satisfies both chambers and paves the way for the legalization of medical marijuana in North Carolina.


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