Two measures that would end marijuana prohibition for adult use are pending in the North Carolina state legislature as lawmakers work to make the drug finally legal in their state. The first bill, HB 626, was introduced by four Democratic members of the House on Monday. If approved, the bill would make it legal for adults aged 21 years and older to possess small amounts of marijuana.
Even though the possession of less than half an ounce of cannabis was decriminalized back in 1977, it is still illegal in North Carolina and carries a punishment of up to $200. Even medical cannabis is still illegal, and the only product that people with uncontrollable epilepsy may consume legally is CBD oil with little to no THC.
According to a SurveyUSA study conducted last year, 57% of voters in the state support making cannabis legal for adults. This indicates that the public is in favor of the decision.
HB 626 would also create guidelines for the manufacture and distribution of adult recreational products. Additionally, the measure has elements of social fairness that are intended to assist areas that have suffered because of prohibition. The legislation has been sent for review to the House Committee on Calendar, Rules, and Operations.
Another measure, SB 346, was introduced on March 21, 2023, by four Democratic senators; the proposed legislation is still pending in the state’s upper house legislature. Adults would be allowed to possess a maximum of two ounces of cannabis or 15 grams of concentrates, and they would be allowed to grow up to six plants.
The bill also establishes a regulatory structure for the recreational cannabis market and establishes a new Social Equity Office that would support and encourage people from communities that have historically been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition and enforcement to participate fully in the regulated cannabis industry.
Reformers point out that lifting the prohibition on marijuana can result in increased tax income for the state, in addition to the economic advantages that businesses and their employees will experience as a result. SB 346 imposes a 20% tax on cannabis-related products and grants local governments the option of levying an extra 3% tax. SB 346 is currently being discussed by the Senate Committee on Operations and Rules.
A separate bill, SB 3 (the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act), is also awaiting approval in the House. The bill passed the Senate by a 36 to 10 vote on March 1, 2023.
While these steps are being taken to legalize recreational marijuana, plenty of work is being done by entities such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) to develop therapeutic formulations from many marijuana cannabinoids, including THC.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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