Category Archives: News

HB 185 – North Carolina’s Medical Cannabis Bill (2017)

North Carolina’s annual Medical Cannabis Bill  was introduced February 22, 2017.

UPDATE: North Carolina’s Senate introduced a companion medical cannabis bill, SB579. This senate bill marks the first time there have been medical cannabis bills alive in both chambers of the General Assembly.

UPDATE 2: SB 648 – Legalize Medical Marijuana was filed on 4/4 sponsors Van Duyn and Foushee, co-sponsors Smith Ingram and Waddell.

When HB185 was filed there were 12 sponsors and co-sponsors.

Sponsors include:

  • Kelly M. Alexander, Jr. (D-Mecklenburg)
  • Rebecca Carney (D-Mecklenburg)
  • Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford),
  • Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg)

Co-sponsors include:

  • John Ager (D – Buncombe)
  • John Autry (D-Mecklenburg)
  • Carla Cunningham (D -Mecklenburg)
  • Susan C. Fisher (D – Buncombe)
  • Edward Hanes, Jr. (D-Forsyth)
  • Yvonne Lewis Holley (D – Wake)
  • Philip A. Lehman (Durham)
  • Brian Turner (D – Buncombe).

If you have not contacted your representative about supporting this bill, please do so.

Find out who your representative is here.

Find out how to persuade your representative over time here.

If you do not agree with the laws, please do your part to change them. At a minimum, advocates should know who their congress members are and how they stand on the issue.

 

NC Support for Medical Marijuana at All Time High – 2016

image_doctor marijuana leaf.001

Almost 3 in 4 North Carolinians support doctors’ rights to recommend medical marijuana to patients in need.

According to an April 2016 Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina 74% of the state is now in favor of allowing doctors to discuss medical marijuana as a source of treatment.

The poll was conducted April 22, 2016 and surveyed 960 North Carolina voters regarding their views on cannabis legalization. The results showed that 18% of the state is against giving doctors the right to recommend medical marijuana and 8% are still undecided.

Those randomly selected for the survey were asked, “Do you think doctors should be allowed to recommend marijuana for medical use, or not?”

The survey was conducted the weekend before House Bill 983, titled “Legalize and Tax Medical Marijuana“, was introduced. If passed, the new law would protect people with severe diseases and specific medical conditions from arrest and prosecution. The bill also sets up guidelines for paying taxes on marijuana as a function of THC content.

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.

HB 983 – North Carolina’s Medical Marijuana Bill (2016)

North Carolina’s newest Medical Marijuana bill is making its way through House subcommittees. It is titled “Legalize and Tax Medical Marijuana”.

On April 26, 2016 Rep. Kelly Alexander introduced HB 983. This bill, if passed, would make it legal for patients to possess marijuana for personal use. This bill currently has a total of 12 sponsors – 11 Democrats and one Republican.

This year’s medical marijuana bill protects patients who are in possession of cannabis. Medical marijuana would be legal to have if a patient has documentation from a licensed physician and has paid all applicable taxes.

There are no provisions for growing or buying medical marijuana from a dispensary with this bill.

Here are the basics of HB 983…

Qualifying Criteria to possess marijuana with THC legally in North Carolina:

  • Patient must be diagnosed with a terminal or chronic illness
  • Patients must have a physician’s written recommendation for the patient to use cannabis to treat the disease’s underlying symptoms
  • Patients must purchase a Marijuana Tax Stamp from the NC Department of Revenue (Note: Marijuana tax stamps are already available for purchase today.)
  • Marijuana must only be for the patient’s personal use.
  • No more than three ounces of marijuana may be possessed at a given time.

 

Taxation Rates

  • Marijuana stalks and stems are taxed at a rate of $8.00 per ounce
  • Plus an additional…
    • $7.08 per ounce, if the marijuana is less than 5% THC by weight
    • $14.15 per ounce, if the marijuana is between 5% and 10% THC
    • $21.24 per ounce, if the marijuana is between 10% and 15% THC
    • $28.32 per ounce, if the marijuana is between 15% and 20% THC
    • $35.40 per ounce, if the marijuana is between 20% and 25% THC
    • $42.48 per ounce, if the marijuana is great than 25% THC.

According to an April, 2016 Public Policy Polling survey, 74% of North Carolinians support a doctor’s right to recommend marijuana to patients who may benefit from the plant.

Everyone in North Carolina who has a personal need for medical cannabis or knows someone who has benefited from treating their conditions with cannabis are highly encouraged to contact their representatives. Medical marijuana bills have not gained much traction in the North Carolina General Assembly. Through polling of representatives, the reason all previous medical marijuana bills have failed is largely due to the fact that our legislators do not know cannabis is safe and effective. They need to be informed.

Please contact your representative to encourage him or her to co-sponsor HB 983. If you don’t know who your representative is, read this article….

https://ncnorml.com/2015/01/29/who-represents-me-in-north-carolinas-state-congress/

 

If you already know who represents you in state congress, the following is a guide for reaching out and encouraging them to support this bill.

https://ncnorml.com/2015/03/07/contacting-your-legislator-about-legalizing-cannabis-in-north-carolina/
If you do not agree with the laws, do your part to change them.

Updated CBD Bill Gives North Carolinians Limited Access to Medical Marijuana

The “North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act” went into effect on August 1st 2015. Governor McCrory signed HB 766 into law two weeks earlier giving neurologists the authority to recommend low-THC cannabis oil to qualifying patients.

The law provides a legal exemption for caregivers of patients with intractable epilepsy to possess hemp extract under the following conditions:

  • The “hemp extract” means an extract from a cannabis plant, or a mixture or preparation containing cannabis plant material, that has all of the following characteristics:
  • Is composed of less than nine-tenths of one percent (0.9%) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight.
  • Is composed of at least five percent (5%) cannabidiol (CBD) by weight.
  • Contains no other psychoactive substance.
  • Possesses or uses the hemp extract only to treat intractable epilepsy.
  • Possesses, in close proximity to the hemp extract, a certificate of analysis that indicates the hemp extract’s ingredients, including its percentages of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol by weight.
  • Is a caregiver. A caregiver is defined as an individual that is at least 18 years of age and a resident of North Carolina who is a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a patient, who possesses a written statement dated and signed by a neurologist that states all of the following:
    1) The patient has been examined and is under the care of the neurologist;
    2) The patient suffers from intractable epilepsy;
    3) The patient may benefit from treatment with hemp extract.
  • The caregiver must be registered in a database to be established by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The Intractable Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Database
The updated law requires that DHHS create a secure and electronic Intractable Epilepsy Alternative Treatment database registry for the registration of neurologists, caregivers, and patients. All caregivers shall be required to register with the Department. Law enforcement agencies are authorized to contact the Department to confirm a caregiver’s registration. The database shall consist of the following information to be provided by the caregivers at the time of registration:

  • The name and address of the caregiver.
  • The name and address of the caregiver’s patient.
  • The name, address, and hospital affiliation of the neurologist recommending hemp extract as an alternative treatment for intractable epilepsy for the patient.
  • If at any time following registration, the name, address, or hospital affiliation of the patient’s neurologist changes, the caregiver shall notify the Department and provide the Department with the patient’s new neurologist’s name, address, and hospital affiliation.

To enroll in the database…
Contact the Department of Health and Human Services Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services Division, Drug Control Unit.

Fquira Johannes:

919-733-2130

fquira.johannes@dhhs.nc.gov

Registration Form: NCEATA Registration Form

In an e-mail dated 7/31/2015, Rep. McElraft stated:
There is no age limit. The patient must have a note from a NC neurologist and intractable epilepsy in order to use this product legally in NC.  GW Pharma should have the Epidiolex approved within a year or two and then it should be covered by insurance.
Thanks Pat

Representative McElraft’s office notes that if the above conditions are met, caregivers should be careful about the source of the hemp extract, as some products may be superior to others. They suggested CW Hemp (the original creators of Charlotte’s Web CBD oil) which can be obtained through CWHemp.com.

Other sources of CBD oil include, but are not limited to,…

Palmetto Harmony
http://palmettoharmony.com/
This local company started in South Carolina by Janel Ralph.  She developed her company’s CBD products for her child with intractable epilepsy. Ms. Ralph stated that her company is able to ship their products, although they are not set up to do so on-line yet. She was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the cannabis industry by Skunk Magazine. She can be reached at 843-222-9322.

Mary’s Nutritionals
http://www.marysnutritionals.com/default.aspMary’s Nutritionals is operated as a legally separate, but identical sister company to Mary’s Medicinals. This Colorado based cannabis business has been given consistently high quality reviews. They test and report on the quality of their CBD products, all of which are shipped nationwide.
Graham Sorkin – Corporate Communications Specialist
818-268-4282
Graham@marysmedicinals.com

Excellent sources of information on cannabidiol are
Project CBD – http://www.projectcbd.org/

The North Carolina Medical Board lists 1,022 neurologists (some no longer actively practicing): http://wwwapps.ncmedboard.org/Clients/NCBOM/Public/LicenseeInformationResults.aspx

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).

Support for Medical Marijuana Surges for Third Year – North Carolina, 2015

Seven out of ten North Carolinians support a doctor’s right to prescribe marijuana to patients in need.

According to a Public Policy Polling survey – conducted in January of 2015 – 70% of the state is now in favor of legalizing medicinal cannabis for card carrying patients. This polling data shows a 7% increase each year since 2013.

The 2015 poll also showed 20% of the state is opposed and 10% undecided. Opposition to medical marijuana dropped 10% and the number of those who are undecided rose 3% since 2014 (63/30/7%). This trend suggests that, given time, people tend to realize the benefits of legal medical cannabis far outweigh the risks. These numbers improved significantly since 2013 (58/33/9%).

Those randomly selected for the survey were asked, “Do you think doctors should be allowed to prescribe marijuana, or not?”

The survey was conducted the weekend before House Bill 78 – Enact Medical Cannabis Act was introduced by Representative Kelly Alexander. It would protect people with severe diseases and specific medical conditions. The new law would create a regulated growing and distribution system of medical cannabis and associated products. This system is designed to be both safe and reliable.

This legislation is seen as a reasonable alternative to the CBD-only law that has helped zero families with  qualifying needs for the medicine.

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.
### -February 14, 2015