North Carolina Senate Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

North Carolina state senators have once again approved language to legalize medical cannabis. Senators must vote on the proposal one more time on Monday before the bill moves to the House, where its future is uncertain.

Full story after the jump.

For the second year in a row, the North Carolina Senate has approved language to legalize medical cannabis in the state, the Associated Press reports. Notably, last year’s medical legalization effort died in the House and the latest proposal could easily face the same fate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday tacked the 35-page medical cannabis language onto another proposal that was originally limited to regulating the state’s hemp product market. Senators approved the bill on Thursday and will reconsider the proposal for a final time on Monday before sending it to the House for consideration.

If signed into law, the bill would give patients with a “debilitating medical condition” access to the state-regulated medical cannabis program.

Republican state Sen. Danny Britt said ahead of Thursday’s vote that the medical legalization language was necessary to “get out in front” of the upcoming federal rescheduling of cannabis, which will see the plant’s medicinal potential finally recognized at the federal level.

House Speaker Tim Moore (R) has said that he supports legalizing medical cannabis but that the proposal is unlikely to be considered in the House because not enough House Republicans support the issue, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina recently opened the state’s first medical cannabis cannabis dispensary on tribal land. Additionally, members of the tribal council earlier this month voted to legalize adult-use cannabis sales.

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