NC Compassionate Care Act is first bill introduced in 2023

RALEIGH — The first day of bill filing was led by Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, who filed the NC Compassionate Care Act (SB3), a bill that legalizes medical cannabis.  On Wednesday, January 26, 2023, he was joined by Sens. Michael Lee, R-New Hanover, and Paul Lowe, D-Forsyth as primary sponsors.

The North Carolina Compassionate Care Act lists many debilitating medical conditions for which doctors could prescribe medical cannabis as part of a patient’s treatment, including cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

According to the bill’s summary posted on the NCGA website, SB3 would require the state Department of Health and Human Services to issue “registry identification cards” to anyone who would qualify to be prescribed medical cannabis by a licensed physician, and set standards for doctors to issue that prescription.

Sens. Rabon and Lee introduced a similar bill last year.  It passed the Senate 36-7, but did not make it out of the House Rules Committee.

“The Compassionate Care Act had great momentum and bipartisan support last session,” said Rabon.  “It’s imperative that we continue to fight to ensure that North Carolinians with debilitating illnesses can receive the treatments they deserve.”

The North Carolina Medical Society has supported the development of research regarding medical cannabis in the past.   See the NCMS Policy here.  The NCMS Board of Directors is meeting January 28, 2023, and is expected to discuss the issue again.