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Thursday, Jul 25, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Medical cannabis legalization bill passes through North Carolina Senate 33-9

It must be voted on a second time before being sent to the House where Republican opposition has repeatedly blocked it

Medical cannabis legalization bill passes through North Carolina state Senate 33-9
North Carolina's first-ever dispensary opened Apr. 20 in a converted bingo hall, but the products are illegal to consume off of the Indigenous land it sits on. Photo credit: Great Smoky Cannabis Company

North Carolina is now one step closer to permitting medical marijuana prescriptions throughout the state.

A bill authorizing prescribed use of the plant just passed through an initial vote in the North Carolina Senate 33-9. It will now need a second vote of approval in the state’s upper chamber, expected Monday.

The proposed legislation has historically been condemned by Republicans in the state House, who have blocked attempts by the Senate to get it through. Now, it will need to be approved by North Carolina’s House of Representatives too before it can be signed into law.

It would enable those with debilitating medical conditions to have access. These include PTSD, cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

“The people that need and can benefit from medical-grade cannabis are dying,” North Carolina Senator and cannabis advocate Bill Rabon said in the hearing this week. “They’re dying every day.”

Rabon is a cancer survivor who says he couldn’t have persevered without pot. “With 18 months to live, I’m here 20 years later because I had a physician who told me to do this and I did,” Rabon told the Senate.

The bill was first introduced by the House where it was originally centred around hemp regulation and restrictions on the psychoactive plant Kratom. It was then amended and introduced in the Senate to include medical cannabis use.

Read more: Seattle rolling paper expert offers muggleheads US$4.20 to review pre-rolls ‘for science’

Read more: What is HHC: effects, uses, legal status

North Carolina opens up first dispensary on 4/20

State cannabis users were ecstatic this Apr. 20 when the first-ever dispensary opened up inside an old bingo hall on land owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. However, consuming the plant off of their 57,000-acre territory will remain illegal.

The Indigenous group feels it is exercising its right to self-determination through defying laws state authorities enforce elsewhere. Not only through distribution of medical bud actually — the Band voted to amend its Tribal Code earlier in June and plans to open an adult-use market in the next couple months for Cherokee members.

Recreational weed will become available to the public at the Smoky Mountain Cannabis Company later down the road.

“The first legal, regulated, safe cannabis to be sold within the boundaries of North Carolina,” General Manager Forrest Parker said. “We’re very proud to set the bar in quality and in health and safety.”

A crowd of over 800 people lined up in the rain with medical cards prior to being let inside.


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