The bill legalizing medical marijuana in North Carolina, Senate Bill 3, says its Medical Cannabis Production Commission is to have two “industry representatives” among its eleven members. Maybe the industry doesn’t need representatives on the Commission to regulate themselves. Marijuana sellers can lobby the Commission quite readily, just as they can present their views to the North Carolina House without being Representatives.
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 Duke Energy on the Utilities Commission. We don’t mandate Jim Beam’s owners on the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. We don’t UNC mandate professors on the Board of Governors. (Students, OK.). The way the bill is written now, the Commission is of the marijuana sellers, by the marijuana sellers, for the marijuana sellers.
Wait. Isn’t this like the revolving door? Prosecutors resign and start representing criminal defendants. All U.S. Attorneys General I know about practiced law privately before serving the government. Alcohol regulators worked for liquor interests before working for the state.
No, putting industry representatives on the Cannabis Commission is not like the revolving door. It’s worse. That was then and this is now. Former prosecutors are rarely suspected of sabotaging their clients’ cases. LeBron James doesn’t undermine the L.A. Lakers when they play one of his former teams from Cleveland or Miami, does he? Letting industry representatives regulate their industry on behalf of the public? No man can serve two masters. Matthew 6:24. Not at the same time.
Let’s not put any foxes on the Henhouse Commission.
Cite: New N.C.G.S. section 90-113.118.