North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on Tuesday signed a measure removing federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pharmaceutical medications containing THC from the state’s list of Schedule VI drugs, WGHP reports. The measure does not include medical cannabis – which was approved by the state Senate earlier this month but will not be heard in the House – the lower chamber’s leader, Rep. Tim Moore (R), said.
The law signed by Cooper will automatically legalize any drug containing THC so long as it is approved by the FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration makes the change to the federal controlled substances schedules, and the North Carolina Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse does not object to excluding the drug from the state’s Schedule VI.
Cooper does support broad medical cannabis legalization in the state along with most of his Democratic cohorts in the Legislature; however, both chambers are controlled by Republicans. In the Senate, two Democrats voted against the reforms – which passed 35-10 – along with eight Republicans.
An April poll conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of WRAL found that 72% of North Carolina voters support medical cannabis legalization, with 18% opposed. The poll also found a majority (57%) of voters back adult-use legalization.
However, House Speaker Tim Moore said the chamber would not take up the legislation this session, likely killing the bill this year. He also declined to say whether the House would hear the bill next session.
“I want to see where our folks are on it. I really do,” he said in an interview with WRAL. “That one has just kind of been thrown down, and I don’t see an appetite to take that up in the shorter session. As far as the long session, I won’t say one way or the other.”
Cooper is still considering a measure to allow the state’s hemp farmers to produce CBD products. That bill was passed on June 2.
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