Nc Medical Marijuana Bill Approved By Another Senate Panel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation to legalize marijuana for medical use in North Carolina advanced through another Senate panel on Wednesday.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee, which voted for the legislation, narrowed their review to fees and revenues collected in the measure.

They include charging cannabis customers to get special ID cards. The state's 10 pot suppliers also must obtain licenses and send a portion of monthly revenues to state coffers.

An amendment approved by the committee made clear that the program would be self-supporting and not need other state revenues to operate.

The bill, which cleared a judiciary committee last month, would allow patients who have one of several “debilitating medical conditions” like cancer, epilepsy or HIV to purchase and use marijuana products. The producers, licensed by a new state commission, could open four stores each.

Several speakers addressed the committee, some of whom said the state was failing to capture more money from the supplier licenses. Some social conservatives continued to oppose the measure entirely, while others told legislators cannabis access would help the sick ease pain and nausea.

The measure still must go through two more committees before reaching the Senate floor.

North Carolina is one of 14 states that don’t permit cannabis products for medical use.