RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As lawmakers look to wrap up their legislative session, some people are wondering what the deal is with medical marijuana.
It passed in the state Senate in March, but there have been no real updates since then.
Local hemp and CBD business owners are watching the Compassionate Act carefully. Many are hoping to get a license, but are learning it won’t be so easy.
They’re also finding out there’s another, related bill that could change the way they already sell their products.
Tucked away in the Five Points neighborhood in Raleigh, Emma Macadam says she has a remedy for everything and everyone.
“[Clients] get a lot of relief from back pain, migraines, anxiety and depression,” she explained.
Macadam owns Redhead Hemp. Like many other CBD and Hemp store owners, she’s been keeping a close eye on the medical marijuana bill that has still yet to get the green light.
“I think it’s great that the state is finally taking it seriously and taking steps to encourage the use of medical marijuana,” said Macadam.
But she does have some concerns: that the $50,000 price tag to get a dispensary license may price out small business owners.
“It doesn’t make sense to me because we already have people in the space, so why not just give that power and give that agency to companies locally,” said Macadam.
Macadam is also disappointed there would only be 10 licenses approved, with a maximum of 80 dispensaries statewide.
State lawmakers also seem to have some hesitation.
North Carolina Speaker of the House, Tim Moore, told CBS 17 the bill may stall, once again.
“Any bill that’s going to come up for vote must have a majority of Republicans going to vote for that bill on the House floor,” he said. “So until I see that’s where the majority of our caucus is, it will not come up for a vote.”
Another potential roadblock Macadam is concerned about is House Bill 563, which in part would require hemp stores to get licenses and limit the amount of THC in products.
“My business could not run alone on CBD isolates,” she said. “My concern is I would have to close down the shop. So that’s really sad to think about.”
House Bill 563 is still in the House.