North Carolina is among a minority of states where cannabis legislation is largely unfavorable for those wishing to use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. However, popular opinion and the work of cannabis advocates seem to be pushing the state’s legislators to make important changes. Here are a few important aspects of medical marijuana laws in North Carolina.
What Are the Laws for Medical Marijuana Use in North Carolina?
The medical marijuana laws in North Carolina are very restrictive and may only allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to have access to medical cannabis. Before a 2014 bill called Hope for Hailey and Friends (HB766), there was no law allowing any type of cannabinoid substance to be used as a treatment for chronic conditions such as epilepsy. The bill, named after a 6-year-old girl who suffered from constant seizures not treatable with regular medications, allowed for the use of CBD oil for epilepsy patients and similar intractable conditions.
North Carolina laws are so restrictive most cannabis advocates do not consider the state to be among other states that allow for the use of medical marijuana. However, thanks to pressure from popular opinion and cannabis advocates, things might be changing in the state.
Are There Any Current Efforts to Legalize Medical Marijuana in North Carolina?
A new bill is gaining momentum as support for legalization grows among North Carolina residents and lawmakers. SB711 proposes the legalization of possession and consumption of marijuana for debilitating medical conditions. Eligible patients would include those with cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, or a terminal illness that would limit the patient’s lifespan to six months or less.
If signed into law, the bill would allow eligible patients to possess up to one and a half ounces of cannabis, but would not legalize planting and home cultivation. Doctors prescribing medical marijuana would need to specify the method of delivery and the dosage, and patients would need to be re-evaluated once a year.
Where Can Patients Legally Obtain Medical Marijuana in North Carolina?
Until SB711 is enacted into law, access to medical marijuana is limited to out-of-state dispensaries. Because it is still illegal to cultivate or sell any type of marijuana within state borders, those eligible to obtain medical marijuana still may have to resort to dispensaries in other states that accept patients from out-of-state. If the bill passes, dispensaries that meet all requirements may be allowed to operate in North Carolina.
At Davis Legal, PLLC, we understand the importance of having access to cannabis as a medicine. If you have been charged with possession of cannabis products in North Carolina, we are here to help you fight back. Reach out to our Raleigh office at 919-756-6437 to discuss your case.