North Carolina Medical Cannabis Bill Passes First Senate Committee

The North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the state’s medical cannabis legalization bill, moving it next to the chamber’s Finance Committee.

Full story after the jump.

The North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a proposed medical cannabis bill, moving it next to the chamber’s Finance Committee, the News & Observer reports. It’s the first vote for the measure that was introduced last month. 

The legislation would allow patients with qualifying conditions to access medical cannabis in the state. The qualifying conditions list includes cancer, epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multiple sclerosis, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or persistent nausea in a person who is not pregnant that is related to end-of-life or hospice care, or who is bedridden or homebound because of a condition, terminal illness when the patient’s remaining life expectancy is less than six months, and conditions resulting in the individual receiving hospice care, according to the bill text. 

State Sen. Bill Rabon (R), one of the bill sponsors, told the News & Observer that the legislation’s goal “is to only make changes to existing state law that are necessary to protect patients and their doctors from criminal and civil penalties and would not intend to change current civil and criminal laws for the use of non medical marijuana.” 

The Judiciary Committee amended the measure to allow law enforcement agencies to contact the Department of Health and Human Services to confirm a medical cardholder’s identity if they are unable to do so through the registry system.  

Last year, a medical cannabis bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support but died in the House.  

If approved by the Finance Committee, the bill would move next to the Senate Rules and Operations Committee.  

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