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Will This State Be the Next to Legalize Medical Marijuana?

By Eric Volkman – Aug 8, 2021 at 12:30PM

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Don't be surprised to see dispensaries popping up in Charlotte and Chapel Hill before long.

Only a year or two ago, it would have been nearly inconceivable to think that any part of the South -- a region traditionally dead set against any type of marijuana law reform -- would have even considered legalizing weed. But what a difference only a handful of months can make.

In this video, longtime Fool contributor Eric Volkman identifies one state in the neighborhood that seems ready and willing to legalize pot, at least to a limited extent. This Motley Fool Live conversation with healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina was recorded on July 16.

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Corinne Cardina: Let's move a little bit down South, my home state, actually where I currently am right now, this is my childhood bedroom, North Carolina. Surprisingly -- to me, at least -- North Carolina has had some developments.

My question for you is, could the Tar Heel State be the next one to flip the switch on medical?

Eric Volkman: If I were a betting man, which I'm not, but if I was, then yeah, I would place a fairly sizable bet on North Carolina.

Just the fact that they've gone this far, the legislation they are currently working through the state legislature system, is the first proposal anytime they've ever considered about marijuana. Just that in itself is a very encouraging sign.

They're starting out slow. Fairly typical for Southern states -- which have over the years tended to be a little bit more conservative and a little bit more hesitant to welcome the marijuana industry -- they're just considering going medical for now.

But even that is big leap because the Southern states, North Carolina included, had been holdouts for a long time against any kind of marijuana legalization. I'm even talking about decriminalization. That was not really a thing in that region of the country. The fact that they're even talking about legalizing any facet of it is a big leap for that state.

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