If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when you’ll be able to get a North Carolina Marijuana Card, well good news, because this week the state took a big step towards that goal.
On December 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 711, the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act, which would establish a medical marijuana market here.
The bill is expected to come to the Senate floor for a full vote in 2022, and it’s also expected to pass. First, however, SB 711 will have to pass out of the Finance, Healthcare, and Rules and Operations Committees.
Is This Deja Vu All Over Again? Not Exactly.
If this news sounds familiar, it’s because we already told you that SB 711 had passed out of the Judiciary Committee back in August, the last time it passed out of that committee.
Medical Marijuana’s progress through the long and winding road of lawmaking came to a halt in 2021 after that first passage, because as the year wound down the Senate turned its attention to the more immediately pressing issues of redistricting and passing a state budget.
But this re-passage isn’t simply a case of legislative busywork; the Committee added a major improvement to the bill before it’s latest passage. In its current form, SB 711 would create a Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to review petitions from North Carolinians to add more qualifying conditions to the law. The Board would also be empowered to add those conditions with which it agreed.
That’s significant, because the current list of qualifying conditions recognized by SB 711 doesn’t even come close to including all of the conditions for which medical marijuana has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment.
How are the NC Medical Marijuana Bill’s Odds for Passage in 2022 Looking?
Pretty good, actually. As we’ve told you before, it’s going to take Republican support for any medical marijuana bill to pass in North Carolina, because the state government is dominated by the GOP, and Republicans have traditionally been vehement opponents of ending marijuana prohibitions.
That has begun to change, however, and SB 711 counts many Republican lawmakers among its supporters. Chief among them is Bill Rabon, Chairman of the Rules and Operations Committee, another committee the bill must survive before it can become a law. Rabon is also one of the bill’s sponsors, so it seems likely that SB 711 will clear it’s next hurdle easily.
“I have been quite moved by this because of my personal experience, and at times it has been difficult for me to talk to some people about that,” Rabon told the Judiciary Committee back in June, the first time the Committee passed SB 711. “But I will say again that that time has come that this needs to be discussed, and we need to compassionately care for our fellow man, in any way that we can.”
Another key Republican supporter is John Hardister, the House Majority Whip, so SB 711 is expected to find support in the House should it pass out of the Senate in 2022.
“I’m in favor of the bill. I’m in favor of medical marijuana,” Hardister told Spectrum News. “I think that doctors ought to have the ability to prescribe it. I think that in many ways, based on the research that I’ve done, medical marijuana is less addictive and harmful than some of the opioids that are currently legal.”
With support among Republican legislators in both chambers and among North Carolina voters at unprecedented levels, it looks like relief is finally on its way to the Tar Heel State in 2022.
You Don’t Have to Wait to Find Out if Medical Marijuana Could be Right for You
You may have to wait for the Legislature to pass SB 711 before we can get access to medical marijuana in North Carolina, but you can start getting ready for that day right now.
Reserve an evaluation online today, and we’ll book an appointment for you with one of our compassionate, knowledgeable doctors just as soon as North Carolina’s medical marijuana market is up and running.
You’ll meet with your new doctor virtually, using your smartphone or computer for a telemedicine appointment. You’ll learn all about how medical marijuana may be able to help your conditions, without even leaving the comfort and safety of your own home. And you’ll even save $25 off the cost of the evaluation!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-7320, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!