North Carolina Senate approves bipartisan legislation to establish medical cannabis market

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Medical cannabis is currently legal in 36 U.S. states, but the market could further blossom with the addition of North Carolina; should the State General Assembly allow legalization to transpire.

Veterans in North Carolina are being shown a glimmer of hope with Senate Bill 711. Approved by the N.C. Senate committee on Wednesday, June 30, this bipartisan legislation strives to develop a foundation for the sale, manufacturing and licensing of legal cannabis in N.C.

Once approved, Senate Bill 711 would permit cannabis consumption by people who have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition. A limit would also be imposed on the number of allowed dispensaries in the State of North Carolina, which would receive 10 percent of taxes on cannabis products.

Senate Majority leader is taking a keen interest in North Carolina’s medical cannabis bill

North Carolina’s medical cannabis bill hasn’t got the all-clear just yet. Three more committees must first review North Carolina’s medical cannabis bill before it can be reviewed on the House floor. Nonetheless, the N.C. Senate committee approval of this bill suggests that support is headed in the right direction.

Even moreso, Republican Senate Majority Leader Kathy Harrington announced during a recent committee meeting that she has gradually started to embrace cannabis reform. Harrington’s shifting perspective stems from a six-month experience that involved caring for her husband, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. 

Life comes at you fast. I believe we’ve already had some moments in our lives where this type of medication would have assisted in some of the responses to the treatment,” said Harrington, as she spoke about the treatments her husband has already undergone this year. “The veteran suicide rate is twice the national average in North Carolina.”

Medical cannabis bill overcomes major obstacles in NC

If the Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 711) is enacted into law, the entire outlook of medical cannabis in North Carolina will be radically transformed. Likely to be a game-changer for the industry, the bill would legally regulate, distribute and sell medical cannabis.

“I really believe at the core, we’re trying to sort out whether this is truly of medical value for North Carolinians, and that’s the question that’s out for all of us right now,” said NC State Senator Don Davis.

Although SB 711 has already passed the judiciary committee, it must still pass the NC Senate Finance and NC Rules Committee. Once this happens, North Carolina’s medical cannabis bill will go to a full vote.