A Medical Marijuana bill, Senate Bill 3, is making its way through legislation in hopes to legalize medical marijuana in the state of North Carolina. If passed, patients will access medical cannabis through state-licensed businesses. The program will be regulated by a newly formed North Carolina Medical Care Commission.
The state of North Carolina legalized low-THC, high-CBD medical cannabis in 2015, through a Legislative ballot, House Bill 766, but failed to establish a state-wide dispensary system for patients to legally access CBD products.
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NORTH CAROLINA PROPOSED MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS LICENSES
Cannabis Supplier License: An entity licensed to grow, cultivate, produce, or sell cannabis or cannabis-infused products. By establishing or operating a medical cannabis center a licensee may sale cannabis, cannabis-infused products, and paraphernalia relating to the administration of cannabis to qualified patients.
- The state will issue up to 10 Cannabis Supplier Licenses
- Medical cannabis center (dispensary): A facility owned and operated by a licensed Cannabis Supplier that possesses and dispenses cannabis and cannabis-infused products to registered patients.
- Each Cannabis Supplier may not own and operate more than 8 medical cannabis centers (which will result in no more than 80 dispensaries statewide).
- Each supplier must operate at least one medical cannabis center in a Tier 1 county.
- For the purposes of this section, “Tier 1 county” shall mean the 2023 County Tier Designations published by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
- A medical cannabis center shall not be located within 1,000 linear feet of the property line of any of the following places:
- A church
- A child care facility
- A public school unit or any nonpublic school
- A community college or the facilities of The University of North Carolina and the grounds of those facilities
- Non-refundable Cannabis Supplier License Fee is $50,000 and $5,000 for each production facility or medical cannabis center the applicant proposes to operate under the license.
- In awarding the licenses, the Commission shall consider the following criteria through a competitive merit-based application process:
- Priority shall be given to any supplier who commits to establishing a medical cannabis center in more than one Tier 1 county.
- Priority shall be given to any supplier who commits to establishing the eight allowed medical cannabis centers in a manner that demonstrates a commitment to ensure the equitable distribution of medical cannabis centers throughout the State
- Residency requirements: State resident for at least 2 years that is the majority owner of each center/facility under the license.
Testing Laboratory: An entity licensed to test cannabis and cannabis-infused products that are to be sold in the state. Independent testing laboratories shall analyze a representative sample of all cannabis or cannabis-infused products before the sale or transfer to a medical cannabis center by a production facility. An independent test
- 5 independent testing laboratories are to be licensed
- No individual who owns, operates, has a direct or indirect financial interest in, or is employed by an independent testing laboratory shall own, operate, have a direct or indirect financial interest in, or be employed by a supplier, a production facility, or a medical cannabis center.
HOW TO START A MARIJUANA BUSINESS IN NORTH CAROLINA
To obtain a marijuana business license in North Carolina, you will be required to submit an application. As part of the application, some of the plans you may need to include the following:
- Security Plan.
- Environmental Impact Plan.
- Quality Control and Quality Assurance Plan.
- Business History Plan.
- Financial Plan.
- Community Benefits Plan.
- Research Plan.
- Cultivation, Manufacturing and/or Dispensing Plan.
- Labor Compliance Plan.
- Staffing and Training Plan.
Schedule for a complimentary 15-min consult with our licensing/application team to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
NORTH CAROLINA PROGRAM TIMELINE
2015 – North Carolina legalized low-THC, high-CBD medical cannabis
June 2023 – North Carolina medical marijuana bill to be voted on
December 1, 2023 – Law becomes effective
August, 2024 – Rules and Regulations must be developed
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"Sara’s success speaks for itself. Our company continues to engage Sara for ongoing consulting and her advice remains solid and relevant to our growth."Owner, Firefly Dispensaries in Pennsylvania.
"Working with Sara was a pleasure. We don’t know how we would have gotten through the application process without her."Arizona Vertically Integrated Facility Owner