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Medical marijuana bill advances in NC Senate. What’s needed for it to become law?

The North Carolina Senate keeps advancing a bill that would legalize medical marijuana here, as the state remains one of the few holdouts in the country without such a law.

Senators in the Finance Committee passed the bill Wednesday, after a brief discussion about the taxes and other revenue it might bring to North Carolina if passed. No one had a solid estimate, but based on other states, it would likely bring in tens of millions of dollars a year.

For example, the News & Observer previously reported that Michigan made $45 million from medical marijuana last year. It has similar marijuana tax structures as what North Carolina is proposing, and around the same size population.

Some members of the public came to the General Assembly Wednesday to tell lawmakers they should charge companies even more money to get licensed to sell marijuana here than the bill proposes.

“I think y’all are leaving a lot of money on the table here,” said Pat Oglesby, a Chapel Hill tax attorney who has studied and worked on marijuana legalization issues in other states.

Oglesby said a Maryland dispensary recently sold for $8 million. The North Carolina bill proposes charging dispensaries $50,000 to get a license, plus another $10,000 a year to keep it, with extra fees if they open multiple locations. Oglesby said those numbers should be higher.

Others said the opposite, however, fearing that higher taxes and fees would be passed on to the patients, via higher costs. [Read More @ The News & Observer]

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