US (NC): Non-existent MMJ commission gets first appointee amidst legalization bill's stalling

A North Carolina official has now been appointed to serve on a medical cannabis commission that doesn’t even formally exist yet under state law. The problem is that the medical cannabis program itself hasn’t been approved, as a bill to enact legalization stalled out in the legislature this year.

Sen. Bill Rabon (R), who sponsored a medical cannabis legalization measure that passed the Senate but failed to advance in the House during the first half of the two-year session, included a Medical Cannabis Production Commission appointment in a broader measure in July—a way to signal his seriousness about establishing the overall reform.

Now that the appointments legislation was approved by both chambers last week and has been enacted into law, Stephen Windham is cleared to fill a position on a medical cannabis commission that isn’t yet real. If and when medical cannabis is actually legalized, he will serve a term through July 1, 2027.

The legalization bill that the House has so far declined to pass would task the commission with ensuring an adequate supply of medical cannabis for patients and overseeing cannabis business licensing. It’s possible that Windham could eventually be part of an actual commission if the legislature takes back up the underlying legalization bill from Rabon back up and passes it next year.


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