It’s good news for citizens in the state of North Carolina! After a previous failure, a Medical Marijuana Bill, the NC Compassionate Care Act, has a second chance of being signed into state law. North Carolina is one of eleven states without a viable medical cannabis program.
Legislators and policy advisors have been focusing on the wording of such bills and their commercial implications since prejudice is fast becoming a small hurdle for the medical cannabis industry in the US. This includes start-ups and companies attempting to enter the medical cannabis market, as well as citizens generally.
Medical Cannabis In North Carolina
While it is popularly believed that medical cannabis is a great economic venture with appealing profit incentives for local businesses, advocates and activists state that the bill is too friendly to big business. They point to the projected caps on licensed producers and the number of permitted dispensaries (to be called Medical Cannabis Centers).
Such caps prevent adequate competition because the ability of small-scale entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace depends on their financial resources and ability to reach consumers. As such, they compete with larger businesses with ample resources to stave off losses detrimental to long-term survival.
The origins of cannabis in the Americas date back to the 1500s when hemp seeds were brought over from South America by enslaved African plantation workers. By the 17th century, cannabis’ reputation, hybrids, and varied uses were known in North America, and in North Carolina specifically, it was grown until the early 20th century.
It was then, and still is now, a profitable investment: Hemp, used in industry to produce rope and even building bricks; Cannabis or medical cannabis, as its commonly referenced, known for its concentrations of the CBD molecule, which is being researched for its health benefits by the medical community; and marijuana, known for the high-producing concentrations of the THC molecule, prized amongst recreational consumers.
Historically and at present, the three variations have found consumers interested in its cultivation and export. Since cannabis is gaining popularity in North America, it would be unwise for citizens of North Carolina to be denied the right to participate in the marketplace or the potential benefits to its local pharmaceutical industry.
Support For The Bill Has Bipartisan Support
What is definitely a notable historical instance, the legalization of medical cannabis has bipartisan support in many parts of the US. If passed, such a bill allows patients with one of thirty health conditions – including cancer, PTSD, and AIDS-related illnesses – to qualify for medical cannabis treatment with a doctor’s referral.
Despite North Carolina having a Republican-controlled legislature, the state’s Democratic Party, Governor Roy Cooper, supports this bill and has put his signature on it. This gives added weight to the consideration of medical cannabis in North Carolina’s law reforms and economic activity.
Although this does not affect the current federal designation of cannabis or marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, individual states’ reforms contribute to the growing movement for cannabis and marijuana to be reclassified in the years to come.
The NC. Senate Committee has heard the matter and voted for the bill to be heard before the whole Senate assembly in the coming weeks. News media is confident that political differences will not negatively affect the bill’s passage. Such is the case in Tenessee, where elected Republicans are driving the enactment of a similar type of medical marijuana/medical cannabis bill in their assemblies.
Once the bill is tabled for the Senate General Assembly and is passed by their vote, it will once again be heard in the House of Representatives in the NC legislature. Gov. Cooper believes it has the necessary foundation to be heard and reach the voting stage this time. He also believes this could lead to more productive discussions around broader decriminalization in the US.
This type of bill, or reforms thereof, gives voting citizens access to information without political bias and increases access to neighboring states, like Virginia, where legalization has run into trouble. The economic incentives – particularly that of imports and exports – put medical cannabis firmly on the table: elected representatives cannot avoid the discussion, nor the economic and social benefits to their electorate.
Keep up to date with this story and other remarkable moments in the medical cannabis industry by subscribing to Beard Bros news and press releases.
Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!