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North Carolina Senate Gives Initial Approval To Bill That Would Legalize Medical Marijuana In Rebuke Of House Opposition

The North Carolina Senate has given initial approval to a bill that would legalize medical marijuana, with bipartisan members once again pushing strongly to enact the reform despite consistent resistance from the House.

Just one day after senators attached the medical cannabis proposal to a hemp- and kratom-related measure and then advanced it through the Judiciary Committee, the Senate Rules Committee signed off on the legislation and sent it to the floor, where it was approved on second reading in a 33-9 vote, with further amendments.

A final Senate vote is expected on Monday, after which point the measure would go back to the House, where its fate remains uncertain.

The underlying legislation originated in the House, so the Senate’s choice to amend it with the medical marijuana language further underscores the chamber’s seriousness about getting the job done, even if it has to force the House’s hands on an issue the chamber has appeared reluctant to take up.

As revised with this week’s committee amendment from Sen. Michael Lazzara (R), the bill would allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients with certain qualifying conditions. That’s in addition to the original provisions on restricting kratom and intoxicating hemp cannabinoid

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