Today the North Carolina Senate gave its final approval of Senate Bill 711 to legalize medical marijuana. This occurred just days after giving the initial approval. Prior to the vote, the Senate adopted an amendment which allows for the ten licensed medical marijuana suppliers to operate up to eight dispensaries opposed to the four allowed under an earlier version. Another amendment sought to recommend a way to get licenses for in-state growers, since the bill as it stands now only allows for vertical integration. This amendment was tabled, however.
The bill now goes to the North Carolina House of Legislatures. If passed, the bill would allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana products for patients suffering from debilitating illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis among many others. Those prescribed would be able to smoke, inhale, ingest, or take medical marijuana under the tongue. There would be strict guidelines on the amount and usage. A recent poll found that 82 percent of North Carolina voters favor legalizing medicinal marijuana, including 75 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of unaffiliated voters and 86 percent of Democrats.
For updates on SB 711 as it progresses follow this blog.