HB 576/SB 646 – Marijuana Justice and Reinvestment Act

Primary House Sponsors: Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Caswell, Orange); Rep. Raymond Smith, Jr. (D-Sampson, Wayne); Rep. John Ager (D-Buncombe); Rep. Terry Brown, Jr. (D-Mecklenburg)

Primary Senate Sponsors: Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake); Sen. Mike Woodard (D-Durham, Granville, Person); Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Chatham, Orange)


This bill:

  • Sets out a series of definitions related to cannabis.
  • Establishes the Office of Social Equity and several funds within the Department of Public Safety, including the Social Equity Fund and the Cannabis Education and Technical Assistance Fund.
  • Establishes duties of the Office of Social Equity.
  • Authorizes the personal use and possession of cannabis for persons 21 years of age or older.
  • Establishes certain restrictions on the personal cultivation of cannabis plants.
  • Prohibits public smoking of cannabis.
  • Prohibits the consumption of cannabis while operating a moving vehicle.
  • Establishes the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act.
  • Provides protections for patients and caregivers related to the possession or purchase of cannabis for medical use by the patient in specified circumstances.
  • Requires DHHS issue a registry identification card to patients or designated caregivers who meet specified criteria.
  • Requires the Medical Care Commission to define what constitutes a qualifying medical condition and an adequate supply of medical cannabis, establish requirements for the issuance of registry identification cards to patients and caregivers, and other rules as necessary.
  • Requires a written certification of a statement in a patient’s medical records or a statement signed by a physician indicating that, in the physician’s professional opinion, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient’s qualifying medical condition or symptoms associated with the qualifying medical condition.


HB 576

Filed – 4/14/2021

SB 646

Filed – 4/6/2021

This bill was referred to the following Senate Committees:

-Rules and Operations