HB 78 – Medical Cannabis Act (2015)

North Carolina’s House Bill 78 – Enact Medical Cannabis Act – was introduced by Rep. Kelly Alexander.

This 2015 bill has several co-sponsors and has some of the following features:

  • Patients are allowed to maintain a 24 ounce supply
  • Patients and caregivers are allowed a 250 square foot cultivation space
  • Qualifying conditions include… cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Alzheimers, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, migraines, Crohn’s Disease, diabetes, hypertension, MRSA, spinal cord disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, and several other conditions.
  • A regulated caregiver and cannabis distribution system that allows for growing operations and dispensaries.
  • Patient ID cards are required before purchasing medical cannabis.
  • Creation of the North Carolina Cannabis Research Program overseen by the University of North Carolina system.

Support for medical marijuana in North Carolina has surged each of the past three years. As of February 2015, 70% of North Carolina residents are in favor of a doctor’s right to prescribe cannabis to qualifying patients.

North Carolina does not have a ballot initiative process. To pass medical cannabis legislation, a bill must be reviewed and approved by several committees in the General Assembly. Despite the strong support for medical cannabis in the state, a majority of representatives and senators are not yet in favor of passing cannabis related legislation.

To ensure passage of this bill, it is important for everyone who supports medical marijuana and patients’ rights to legal access to the plant to contact their representative. A brief explanation on how to do so can be found in the article “Who Represents Me in North Carolina’s State Congress”

Federally, cannabis has been a Schedule I controlled substance since 1970. Schedule I substances are deemed to have a high potential for abuse and no medical value.

Fewer than 10 percent of those who try marijuana ever meet the clinical criteria for dependence, while 32% of tobacco users and 15 percent of alcohol users do.

There have been no deaths from marijuana overdose or chronic use according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Cancer Institute (the U.S. government’s branch of cancer research) now recognizes marijuana has cancer cell killing properties.

UPDATE: 3/8/2015
H78 passed its first reading.
Now the bill must go through the Judiciary 1 Committee (8 Republicans, 3 Democrats).
If it passes the Judiciary 1 Committee, H78 must go through the Health Committee (19 Republicans, 11 Democrats including one primary sponsor and one co-sponsor).
If it passes the Health Committee, H78 must go through the Regulatory Reform Committee (20 Republicans, 9 Democrats including  two primary sponsors, and one co-sponsor).
If it passes the Regulatory Reform Committee, HB78 will go back to floor for 2nd reading, a 3rd reading, then a vote.
If it passes the House, then HB78 moves to the Senate (for reviews and votes).

9 thoughts on “HB 78 – Medical Cannabis Act (2015)

  1. I’m 72, don’t care about smoking pot, but if others wish to that’s their choice; after all, I enjoy a glass of wine. I have taken Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods hemp oil every day for good health and want the opportunity to take cannabis oil high in CBD for optimal health. It took an inner ear virus three years ago leaving me with dizziness and balance issues to start my researching. I am a believer and supporter; just do your own researching. I have told all my doctors/specialist that if they tell me that I have cancer, I will go to the nearest state where it is legal for my treatment of choice.

  2. Imaginary lines should not determine if this plant is legal or not…. How could it possibly have medical value in multiple other state and not North Carolina… Its time to legalize marijuana!

  3. I have been using marijuana medically since I was a young boy and i have had doctors prescribe me pills like Colonopin, Xanax, and Ativan. These drugs just made me drowsy and only helped for a short time not to mention the addictive properties are tremendous. I am now currently 3 years without a single one of those medications. I just hope that this bill gets passed so i can obtain my cannabis legally and not have to worry about any reparations from the law.

  4. Hello I am a 27 year old male from north Carolina and I am trying to figure out the most current up to date bill and status of that bill for mmj here in north Carolina.. And what all I can do to help ensure those in need get it! Thanks for your help

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