Lobbyist Report and Economic Benefits of Legalization

Lobbyist Report:

S711 was re-referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) was heard today; no vote, only discussion and public comments. 

Jan Ramquist testified to refute the inaccurate public statements from conservative groups regarding medical research and the need for opioid reduction therapy added to the list of medical conditions. Pat Oglesby testified that industrial representatives should not be on the regulatory board overseeing the industry: “don’t put the wolf on the Hen House Board.” 

A vote will be taken within a few days. A re-referral like this is unusual. Senate sponsors want to demonstrate that the bill has been thoroughly vetted.  When it passes the Senate Judiciary, it will be referred to the Senate Health Committee, Senate Rules Committee, and then to the Senate floor for a vote. The whole process must be repeated in the House.  

Please continue communicating with your legislators for the next year. It’s progress to legalize cannabis regardless that the steps are small. A promising part of the bill is that it allows the Compassionate Use Advisory Board to add medical conditions for medical cannabis treatment.  We have a long road but at least we are on the path.

PCS changes to an already restrictive bill:

  •     The cannabis-infused product definition was clarified using Utah's definition.
  •     Terminal illness wording was tightened.
  •     The Board name was changed to Compassionate Use Advisory Board.
  •     Add a requirement that prescribing physicians must complete a 3-hour continuing education cannabis course and an annual 1-hour supplemental course approved by NC Medical Board. 
  •     Requires patients to carry a registry card and valid identification when carrying/using cannabis.
  •     Requires that dispensaries and licensees should be spread throughout the state and at least two are located in Tier 1 counties (economically depressed). 
  •     Added representatives from police and Agriculture Department to Cannabis Production Commission.
  •     Established hours, locations, and advertising restrictions of dispensaries.
  •     Establishes independent testing labs.

Please send the following to your NC House Representative (Find Your Legislators)

Dear Representative: (insert name),

Please listen to the researchers and clinical results.

The Journal of American Medical Association printed an article that concluded, “if a patient has tried many medications or procedures to treat a medical condition and none has worked, it is reasonable to try medical cannabis after a conversation between the patient and clinician about its potential risks and benefits.” https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2760738

Health Economics tied a nearly 7% decline in workers’ compensation claims in states with medical marijuana. When claims were filed they were, on average, for shorter periods of time. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-cannabis-workers-comp-idUSKBN2012MY


(your name and county)

Brand New Resource If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the new comprehensive collection of studies on Opioids and Cannabis

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