© 2023 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

In North Carolina, marijuana is still illegal, but cannabis is not

David McNew
Getty Images

North Carolina is one of the most restrictive states in the country when it comes to marijuana.

There’s currently a bill in the General Assembly to legalize marijuana, but it’s not likely to pass this year.

However, that doesn’t stop dispensaries around the state — including several in Charlotte — from operating legally. The stores offer hemp-based products, hemp flowers, pre-rolled joints and even gummies. The products have some of the same effects as marijuana but fall into the legal federal regulations.

So, how is this legal?

And if it is, why is North Carolina holding back on its legislation?

We’ll discuss the policy, the science and more.


  • Steve Harrison, political reporter, WFAE News
  • Phil Dixon, Jr., director, Public Defense Education, School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Dr. Jessica Kruger, clinical associate professor in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, University of Buffalo
Stay Connected
Charlotte Talks Executive Producer Wendy Herkey has been with WFAE since 1998, beginning in the membership department, and has been on the Charlotte Talks staff since 1999.