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N.C. Judiciary Committee approves revisions to medical cannabis bill
Last update: August 24, 2021
On August 18, 2021, the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee approved revisions to SB 711. Under the revised bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Rabon (R), patients would be allowed to possess and consume medical cannabis for debilitating medical conditions. The revised bill adds patients with “terminal illnesses” who have six months to live, as well as those with conditions resulting in hospice care among those who would qualify for the state-regulated medical cannabis program.
The revised bill includes several other changes, including: amendments to the definition of "cannabis-infused products," new continuing education requirements for physicians, identification requirements for patients, limitations on areas where patients can smoke or vape, and adding more members to the nine-member Medical Cannabis Production Commission. You can check out an updated summary here.
Although the changes were approved by the committee, the bill still needs a full vote by the Judiciary Committee again, then it must clear the Health Care and Operations Committees in order to reach the floor for a vote in the Senate.
In 2020, a task force convened by Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to study racial inequities in the criminal justice system recommended the state decriminalize marijuana possession. Under current law, possession remains a class 1 misdemeanor, subject to up to 45 days imprisonment and a $200 fine.