North Carolina and Cannabis. What You Should Know
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North Carolina is one of the few states left in the country that has yet to budge on any sort of cannabis legalization. While the states around it continue to progress and reap the benefits of legal weed, North Carolina medical marijuana has ceased to exist.
Here’s the latest update on the state of medical marijuana in North Carolina.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in North Carolina?
Unfortunately, no, medical marijuana is not yet legal in North Carolina. However, the state does offer some sort of leniency regarding low-THC products and those who qualify for them.
Back in 2014, Governor Pat McCrory signed North Carolina House Bill 1220. This Bill, the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, allowed those with intractable epilepsy to possess and consume low-THC hemp extract. But, of course, this wasn’t applicable to many residents of the Old North State.
A year later, HB 766 amended HB 1220. This amendment increased the allowed amount of THC from 0.3% to 0.9%. It also decreased the required CBD percentage from 10% to 5%.
HB 766 further expanded the list of qualifying conditions for those who can obtain these low-THC products, and it no longer stated that patients had to be children. So, while HB 766 did help grant a bit more access to hemp products than before, the state is still at a standstill when it comes to North Carolina medical marijuanas.
Is Recreational Weed Legal in North Carolina?
No, recreational weed is not legal in North Carolina. The state does not allow the possession or consumption of either recreational or medical marijuana.
According to a recent poll, the residents of NC believe it’s time for legal medical marijuana in the state. 54% of North Carolina voters stated that they support legalizing cannabis for recreational use and consumption. Even though marijuana is now criminalized in the Old North State, NC doesn’t seem to be budging on the issue of recreational cannabis.
There’s a big chance we’ll see the legalization of medical marijuana in North Carolina before we see recreational legalization. However, we’ll just have to be patient and wait to find out.
How to Get a Medical Marijuanas Card in NC
So, how can you get a medical marijuanas card in NC? While you cannot get access to medical marijuana, nor have an NC medical marijuanas card, you can be a part of the state’s medical CBD program.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) oversees the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act program. To join, you’ll have to meet with a state-licensed, board-certified physician who diagnoses you with a qualifying medical condition.
Once your physician approves you, DHHS will enroll you in the program. You have to have a caregiver to obtain your hemp extract, and you won’t get a physical card. Your designated caregiver is the only person allowed to purchase and possess your CBD extract. To do this, you must complete and submit a caregiver’s application to the state.
Qualifications for Medical Marijuana Card in NC
Right now, you can only get a medical card if you have a severe form of epilepsy or seizure disorder. However, if medical marijuana passes in NC, then this list will likely expand.
The following are some of the proposed medical conditions for legal medical marijuana in North Carolina:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Severe or persistent nausea
- Sickle cell anemia
- Other similar debilitating diseases or ailments
NC Medical Marijuanas Law
Even though medical marijuana in North Carolina is not yet legal, there have been attempts at crafting proposals to do so. Those proposals have outlined potential medical marijuana laws in NC that the state may get to look forward to. The most recent proposal, the Compassionate Care Act, gives us a good glimpse into NC MMJ.
Again, these “laws” are not yet established and may change once the state actually legalizes medical cannabis. For now, these are simply speculations.
If North Carolina legalizes medical cannabis, they will likely expand the list of qualifying conditions to look similar to the list above. They will also have to establish possession limits of MMJ; however, it’s crucial to note that the acts proposed for legal weed have been some of the strictest the country has seen yet.
The Compassionate Care Act would allow the University of North Carolina to oversee cannabis research, and they would also likely have direct connections with cultivation.
Because of the state’s conservative nature, it’s likely that possession limits will be low, at-home cultivation will not be allowed, and patients may not have access to the same types of MMJ that other, less conservative, states do.
Can Doctors in North Carolina Prescribe Medical Marijuana?
State-licensed, board-certified physicians are the only people allowed to prescribe low-THC products to patients in North Carolina. You cannot get your hands on medical CBD without first meeting with a certified physician. The doctor will then recommend your medical cannabis.
Is It Legal to Grow Medical Marijuana in North Carolina?
MMJ may not be legal, but can you grow weed in North Carolina? Unsurprisingly, the answer is no.
Home cultivation — and cannabis cultivation of any kind — is prohibited in North Carolina. The state doesn’t allow anyone to grow marijuana or hemp for the purpose of extracting hemp.
There’s a small chance this will change if the state legalizes the plant, but it’s unlikely that NC residents will be able to grow their own weed any time soon.
Dispensaries in North Carolina
As of right now, the only dispensaries in North Carolina are CBD dispensaries. An NC dispensary is only allowed to sell low-THC, high-CBD products that come from hemp.
While some of these CBD dispensaries have started getting prepped for legalization, most of the state’s dispensaries are waiting patiently.