North Carolina lawmakers have indicated that a vote on the NC Compassionate Care Act, a medical cannabis legalization bill, may be postponed until 2022 as the Legislature focuses on the state budget and redistricting process during the final months of this year, according to a local WNCN report.
After addressing an amendment containing several technical changes to the legislation, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill a second time before sending it to the Health Care Committee, which signed off on the legislation at the end of August.
Despite the building momentum, some of the lawmakers behind the bill have said there are still some issues they are trying to resolve before bringing the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote, WNCN reported.
“There’s far more moving parts to this thing than I thought there was when we began,” Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth), one of the bill’s sponsors, told the news outlet. “We want to make sure we get it right.”
With other issues now taking priority, Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger told WNCN that the bill may not get a vote in the Senate until lawmakers return for next year’s legislative session, although no final decision has been made.
The legislation would allow patients to access medical cannabis to treat specified “debilitating medical conditions,” including cancer, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Some of the unresolved concerns raised by lawmakers center on the number of qualifying conditions, patient access, business licensing challenges and whether the bill would ultimately lead to adult-use cannabis legalization, WNCN reported.