Improving the Medical Cannabis Production Commission in North Carolina

Draft statement of Pat Oglesby, Center for New Revenue, for the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee meeting August 18 at 2 p.m.

Medical marijuana is coming to North Carolina, like it or not.  Like most people, I’m for that.

But Senate Bill 711 could be improved in a lot of ways, I think.

Here’s one.

New N.C.G.S. section 90-113.122 would say the Medical Cannabis Production Commission is to have two industry representatives among its nine members.  The industry doesn’t need representatives on the Commission. Marijuana sellers can lobby the Commission quite readily, just as they can present their views to the North Carolina Senate without being Senators.

The industry naturally wants to maximize profits, and maximize sales.  That’s the American way.  But why should industry representatives vote about how to regulate themselves?  That’s regulatory capture.  The Commission needs to serve the general public interest.  We don’t mandate power companies on the Utilities Commission.  We don’t mandate liquor companies and bar owners on the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.  We don’t mandate professors on the UNC Board of Governors.  The way the bill is written now, the Commission is of the marijuana sellers, by the marijuana sellers, for the marijuana sellers.  

Let’s not put any foxes on the Henhouse Commission.

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