about medical marijuana
in North Carolina
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This is How You Will Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NC
The Status of Cannabis Legalization in North Carolina
North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. In 2018, North Carolina was ranked number one on Forbes’ Best States for Business ranking for a second year in a row. Every year the Appalachian Mountains attract several million tourists to the Western part of the state, including the historic Biltmore Estate. The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the two most visited national park and unit in the United States with over 25 million visitors in 2013. North Carolina provides a large range of recreational activities, from swimming at the beach to skiing in the mountains. North Carolina offers fall colors, freshwater and saltwater fishing, hunting, birdwatching, agritourism, ATV trails, ballooning, rock climbing, biking, hiking, skiing, boating and sailing, camping, canoeing, caving (spelunking), gardens, and arboretums.
Cannabis in North Carolina, United States, is illegal for recreational and most medical use, with an extremely narrow exception in the case of the latter.
A medical marijuana bill was introduced in May, 2014, but was killed by the House Committee in March, 2015. Additionally, the House Committee issued an unfavorable report, which blocks the House from considering bills with medical marijuana components for the next two years. Non-psychoactive cannabis has essentially become legalized, but special seeds of very specific low THC strains (industrial hemp) and licensing must be purchased from the state.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has been given regulatory oversight of the program, and is responsible for enrolling registered patients and caregivers in the program. Additionally, the DHHS has set certain requirements for patients and caregivers to participate in the program.
Where can I purchase?
Caregivers are solely responsible for obtaining low-THC hemp extract on behalf of their patients. North Carolina does not currently have a state-regulated supply chain or any other state-sponsored method of obtaining CBD oil. Caregivers must purchase CBD in a state that offers reciprocity for its medical marijuana program. Consequently, North Carolina does not have a system in place that would allow caregivers to purchase low-THC hemp extract within the state.
HB 1220 only allows for patients to consume and possess the hemp extract. However, there is no possession limit. Legally, the hemp extract must be composed of less than nine-tenths of one percent (0.9%) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight, and at least five percent (5%) cannabidiol (CBD) by weight.
How to qualify and register as a patient?
The DHHS has created an online registry for doctors, caregivers, and patients of intractable epilepsy. Only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, and their caregivers, are eligible to participate in the program. Patients who are diagnosed must be under the care of a state-licensed neurologist associated with any state-accredited hospital. Additionally, patients who qualify to receive hemp extract must have responded to at least three (3) or more prior treatment options with little to no success. Once hemp extract has been recommended by a physician, patients are automatically added to the registry. Patients must appoint a caregiver to obtain the extract. No registry card is required for patients. There is no minimum age for patients who can participate in the program.
- Submit a valid North Carolina ID card or driver’s license to show proof of age and residency
- Obtain a written statement from a state-licensed neurologist.
- Complete and submit a written caregiver’s application.
Under the law, patients must have intractable epilepsy and be under the care of a state-approved neurologist who has attempted at least three other treatments options with no benefit. The neurologist must be affiliated with an in-state licensed hospital to obtain the medicine as personal cultivation and a statewide regulated dispensary system is not allowed.