House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, House Bill 1220, exempting state-qualified patients from criminal prosecution if they possess a cannabis extract that contains more than 10 percent CBD and no more than 0.3 percent THC.
The bill awaits action from Republican Gov. Pat. McCrory, who has pledged to sign it.
UPDATE July 3, 2014
Today Pat McCrory signed into law the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act.
Only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy who possess a recommendation from a neurologist and are registered with the Department of Health are allowed to possesses high CBD-extracts under the proposed program. The law does not provide for any legal in-state source of the product at this time.
House Bill 1220 also encourages specific state universities to carry out clinical trials using cannabidiol extracts. However, because cannabidiol is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, any state-sponsored clinical investigations of the cannabinoid must also receive approval from various federal agencies, including the US Food and Drug Administration, Public Health Service, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The approval process for such trials typically takes several years.
North Carolina NORML sees the benefits and dangers of this bill’s passage. Despite this painfully small gain, we can’t let this minimal progress diminish our base’s enthusiasm for activism. It is important that all supporters of NORML’s mission continue the push towards full legalization of the plant.