Those keeping an eye on marijuana legislation have been aware of Senate Bill 711 which would legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina for those with debilitating medical conditions. But with a new bill on the docket, medical marijuana can be a step that the state may skip entirely!
On April 20th, the famous 420 cannabis holiday, democratic state Representatives John Autry, Allison Dahle, Pricey Harrison and Zack Hawkins introduced a new bill to the table, HB 617. This bill would change a lot in the state of North Carolina regarding marijuana and those who have suffered the consequences of cannabis prohibition.
HB 617 would fully legalize recreational marijuana in the state of North Carolina! It would legalize the sale, possession and the use of marijuana across the state.
This bill was inspired by Virginia’s new adult-use marijuana program. Virginia’s program makes marijuana available to about 2 million people in North Carolina who live close to the border. It is very easy for North Carolinians to drive a quick 30 minutes or so to Virginia to purchase fully legal marijuana. This is money that is being invested in the prosperity of another state when it could be reinvested into local North Carolina communities.
North Carolina has also been inspired by the recent recreational program in Virginia since VA was the first state in the south to legalize an adult-use program. Southern states have traditionally leaned more conservatively against marijuana-use but things are changing. More and more people in the south are starting to see how marijuana can help many with their medical conditions and quality of life!
HB 617 goes above and beyond the typical recreational marijuana program as it would establish an Office of Social Equity. This organization would reinvest in and repair the damage that has been done by marijuana prohibition to specific communities. It would create social equity within the cannabis industry and provide education and technical assistance.
Another surprising aspect is that this bill would not only allow for the use and possession of marijuana legally but also would allow for cultivation! For those over the age of 21, you would be able to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants. This is a big deal for those who want more control over their products and have a green thumb!
This recreational program would be great for the state as North Carolina already produces a large amount of hemp products. A lot of the local farmers would be able to grow their businesses and provide local marijuana products for those in the state!
You can stay up to date on this bill and all things marijuana in the state of North Carolina by following our blog!
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