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North Carolina Senators Discuss Medical Marijuana Bill, As House Leader Signals New Pathway To Passage In His Chamber

A North Carolina Senate committee discussed a bill to legalize medical marijuana on Wednesday—and a top House lawmaker is giving new signs that his chamber is positioned to enact the reform after blocking similar legislation last year.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill from Sen. Bill Rabon (R), with some discussion on proposed amendments. If the proposal clears the panel at a subsequent meeting, it will have two more committee stops before potentially heading to the floor.

The measure would allow patients with qualifying conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and multiple sclerosis to possess and purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries.

During the committee hearing, Rabon emphasized the simplicity of the legislation, and he said he’s hopeful that this will be the last time he’ll have to push for the reform.

The sponsor stressed that the legislation was drafted to ensure that the medical cannabis program would be “tightly controlled” while maintaining penalties for non-medical use of marijuana.

“You have to start somewhere,” he said, adding that lawmakers can “learn as we go and grow as we learn” if the law needs additional revisions down the line.

Advocates are confident that the bill

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