The Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte papers put this op-ed below in online and print editions, https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article272626684.html#storylink=hpdigest_opinion; it’s been mentioned favorably by Thomas Mills’s PoliticsNC, https://www.politicsnc.com/a-week-of-bipartisan-progress-for-nc/, and featured in depth by a NC Policy Watch, https://ncpolicywatch.com/2023/03/21/north-carolina-should-learn-from-other-places-and-try-to-do-marijuana-right/ (no paywalls).
The Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 3) would unleash the profit motive on millions of dollars’ worth of medical marijuana commerce in our state. But it’s likely to let well-funded out-of-state corporations grab the lion’s share of that money. They would then want to legalize lucrative recreational use quickly and be first in line to sell it.
While state commerce violates free market principles, SB 3’s 10 permanent licenses make for oligopoly, not market freedom. Sure, state delivery and eventually stores would take time and money to set up, but awarding licenses to private sellers “on the merits” or by lottery, SB-3-style, is a recipe for delays and litigation. Four years elapsed between the passage of a medical marijuana law and the first legal sale of medicine in West Virginia and Delaware.