Led by Rep. Kelly Alexander, Jr. (D-Dist. 107, Charlotte), a Mecklenburg delegation of representatives and senators in the North Carolina General Assembly held a listening session on Feb. 8, 2019, in Charlotte at the Government Center.

More than 100 attended and many spoke, encouraging legislative action on a number of topics including immigration reform, prison reform, environmental concerns, workers rights and more.

Of those who stood up, three were cannabis advocates who spoke in this order: Michael Sims, co-owner of Charlotte CBD; Sean Tolliver, co-owner of C-Trax and co-president, with wife Kiah, of the North Carolina chapter of Minorities for Medical Marijuana; and Corey Hedgepeth of Charlotte NORML.

Their order matters because those who signed up early were allowed to speak for five minutes and those who didn’t were allotted three minutes each. Keep that in mind and sign up early for the next two Mecklenburg County listening sessions if you’ve got something to say to your legislators regarding cannabis reform or anything else.

The next listening session is March 9 at 9 a.m. at the South County Regional Library on Rea Road. (See flyer.)

Watch our social media for updates on how you can register to speak.

[Image: A flyer for another listening session was circulated at the Feb. 8 gathering.]

Listen to what advocates had to say.

After the video: Comments from Sen. Jeff Jackson and Rep. Kelly Alexander, Jr.

After the meeting

At the end of the meeting, the Mecklenburg delegation posed for a group photo (see header image) and many mingled with constituents.

Carolina Cannabis News spoke with Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-37, Mecklenburg) and Rep. Kelly Alexander, Jr.

Sen. Jeff Jackson

Jackson is non-committal when it comes to his stance on cannabis reform saying he’s continuing to research the issue independently. He is not a member of the NCGA Cannabis Caucus.

Pushed on the topic, since Jackson is known to be a vocal proponent of issues on occassion, he explained that he’ll be ready to announce his platform on cannabis when he has legislation that can garner support from citizens of Polk County. He further explained with a story about consituents in rural areas of the state who will leave meetings if alcohol is available.

Rep. Kelly Alexander, Jr.

Alexander says the NCGA Cannabis Caucus is circulating a medical marijuana bill now but was unable to say when it would be filed.

Alexander also said that the “local option” idea floated last fall is not going forward after legal experts deemed it unconstitutional.

Carolina Cannabis News is continually monitoring bills in both the North and South Carolina General Assemblies. Keep up with our Bill Tracker.

BY Rhiannon Fionn

BY Rhiannon Fionn

Editor & Publisher

Rhiannon Fionn is an award-winning journalist based in Charlotte, N.C.