The North Carolina Senate is advancing cannabis legalization discussions

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Senate lawmakers are interested in bringing legalized marijuana to the state

Discussions about a medical cannabis bill appear to be getting more concrete in the North Carolina Senate. Different lawmakers are weighing in on the measure as the House leader points to a new path for passage in his chamber.

Legislation to welcome medical marijuana was considered by a North Carolina Senate committee yesterday, an important step toward a 2023 that could be decisive for the market. While all this is going on, a key House lawmaker has again suggested that his chamber is taking the necessary stance to get the reform enacted after blocking a similar measure in 2022.

Senator Bill Rabon unveiled his bill during a hearing yesterday in the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose members met to debate certain proposed amendments. Should the bill receive the green light from the panel at a meeting scheduled for the next few days, it will have to pass through two more filters in committee before it can pack its bags and head to the floor.

Under the measure, state law would be amended to allow patients with qualifying conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and multiple sclerosis to have access to medical cannabis through licensed dispensaries. Rabon said the measure is fairly straightforward, and he hopes this is the last time he will have to undertake efforts to get the reform to receive sufficient attention in the Tar Heel State Legislature.

The sponsor made it clear that this measure was drafted with the intent that the medical marijuana program be strictly controlled while its use for other purposes still retains the proper penalties. “You have to start somewhere,” he said, adding that lawmakers can “learn as we go and grow as we learn” if the law needs additional revisions in the future.

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