Category: North Carolina

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North Carolina Medical Cannabis Bill Passes Senate Finance Committee

terry roston

North Carolina’s medical cannabis bill has passed the Senate Finance Committee, the second committee on its way to a potential floor vote in the Senate, according to Port City Daily. Known as the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act, the legislation has two more committees to pass before making it to the Senate floor in the push to pass medical cannabis this year in the state.

Backed by powerful Rules Chairman Sen. Bill Rabon (R) and a bi-partisan cadre of Senators, the legislation heads next to the Senate Healthcare Committee, followed by the Rules Committee.

Championed by veterans groups, in addition to including qualifying conditions like cancer and HIV/AIDS, the bill includes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition.

During a hearing, Rob Rens, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran testified that his “position on it has always been that we’re aware of the veteran suicide issue.”

“We know what it is, and we know that opiates, uppers and downerswhat we call the combat cocktailis not having the right effect that it should, and we need to seek out some alternatives.” Rens, in his testimony, via Port City Daily

Rens says he has been meeting with mostly Republicans to assure them the legislation is not a slippery slope to adult-use cannabis.

Rabin and other sponsors have been pitching the bill as the most restrictive medical cannabis bill in the country. Under the legislation, licensees would be responsible for owning their facilities and participating in seed-to-sale tracking. Ten supplier licenses would be available and each licensee would be allowed four dispensaries, capping retail outlets at 40 statewide. A license would cost $50,000 with a $10,000 renewal fee. The state Department of Health and Human Services would get 10% of medical cannabis revenue under the proposal.

Phil Dixon, a University of North Carolina School of Government assistant professor described the bill as “narrow” and “makes the modest acknowledgment that there’s therapeutic value to the substance for certain conditions.”

He sees the patchwork of cannabis laws in North Carolina as a place for needed reform.

“There are several counties that are not pursuing low-level marijuana possession prosecutions anymore at all. In other places they’re still aggressively prosecuting them,” he said in the report. “That’s a hot mess, and long term, that’s an issue that needs to be dealt with.”

Underground Dispensary
Author: Lukas Barfield

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Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersLegalizationMedical Marijuana NewsMedicineNorth Carolina

North Carolina Medical Cannabis Bill Clears Senate Judiciary Committee

terry roston

A North Carolina medical cannabis bill has cleared a critical committee hurdle on its way to potentially becoming law, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. The North Carolina Compassionate Care Act (NCCCA) passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

The proposal still needs to pass three more committees and has an uphill battle to the Senate floor, but the legislation does enjoy bi-partisan support, sponsored by Rules and Operations Committee Chair Sen. Bill Rabon (R), Sen. Paul Lowe (D), and Sen. Michael Lee (R), the Journal reports.

Although the bill is seen as progress after 12 years of attempts to pass the reforms in the Tar Heel State, the proposal is described by Democratic Sen. Wally Nickel as “the most conservative and restrictive medical marijuana bill in the country.”

“This bill is narrowly tailored to offer medical marijuana to those with legitimate medical needs.”Nickel via the Winston-Salem Journal

During testimony, Rabon, the prime sponsor and a cancer survivor, assured critics the legislation would not lead to recreational cannabis reforms in the state.

Lee elaborated, saying, “Recreational marijuana use is not something we want in our state, but that should not keep us from doing the right thing for those dealing with chronic and debilitating conditions.” Additionally, he said a medical cannabis system could be used to teach teens and young adults about “overall” cannabis use.

Lowe believes the bill is another way to improve health care in North Carolina using “medical technology.” Lowe said, “some people need certain kinds of help to get better, and we should do all that is necessary to help them.”

Rabon testified that he knows “how rough it is to go through chemo and how bad it is to wake up every day and think it may be your last day on Earth.”

“There is nothing less compassionate on this Earth than to watch a person you love suffer when there is something that can ameliorate that suffering,” he said.

Despite the restrictive characterization of the bill, it says, in part, “modern medical research has found that cannabis and cannabinoid compounds are effective at alleviating pain, nausea and other symptoms associated with several debilitating medical conditions.”

Underground Dispensary
Author: Lukas Barfield

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