Tag Archives: north carolina medical marijuana

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….



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.

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:



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
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

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

The Disaster Of (North Carolina’s) CBD-Only ‘Medical Marijuana’ Legislation

This article by Russ Bellville was originally published on the Weed Blog. It heavily references the North Carolina CBD-only bill that just passed the General Assembly with almost no debate. The governor has indicated he will sign the bill into law. Read on to understand why this is happening in a state that previously wouldn’t discuss marijuana.



Since the premiere of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s documentary “Weed” back in August, the general public has quickly come to understand the miraculous healing power of cannabidiol, or CBD.  The political perception of medical marijuana changed forever when parents saw little Charlotte Figi, the girl with intractable epilepsy, go from hundreds of seizures a week to just one or two, thanks to CBD treatments.

But that change in perception isn’t a good one.  For now there are two types of medical marijuana – CBD-Only and “euphoric marijuana”, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie calls medical marijuana that contains THC.  Just as “We’re Patients, Not Criminals” cast non-patients as criminals, the lobbying for these new CBD-Only laws relies heavily on pointing out that CBD is a “medicine that doesn’t get you high”, which casts THC at best as a medicine with an undesirable side effect and at worst as not a medicine but a drug of abuse.

This is a disaster both politically and medically; let’s begin with the former.  Politically, whole plant medical marijuana (the kind with THC in it) began in 1996 in California and from that point, it took eleven years before there were a dozen whole plant medical marijuana states in America.  CBD-Only medical marijuana began in March in Utah and from that point, it’s taken only four months to put us on the brink of a dozen CBD-Only medical marijuana states.

Also consider that of those first dozen whole plant states, eight of them were passed by citizen ballot initiative.  All twelve of the CBD-Only laws were passed by state legislatures, often by unanimous or near-unanimous votes.  Every legislature that has taken up the issue of CBD-Only medical marijuana has seen the legislation fly through the committees and both chambers (except Georgia, and that state was only derailed by some parliamentary shenanigans by one legislator).  Take North Carolina this week as an example.

On Tuesday, a committee of the North Carolina House of Representatives cancelled a meeting to discuss a CBD-Only bill.  No rescheduled date for the meeting was announced.  Local newspapers on Wednesday posted headlines that the bill’s passage was unlikely.  The Senate wasn’t likely to pass the bill in this short session that ends next week.  There would be no good reason for the House to move forward with the bill.

But on Wednesday afternoon, the meeting was suddenly rescheduled and the CBD-Only bill passed unanimously.  This morning (Thursday) the bill was heard by a second committee and passed immediately.  This afternoon it was heard and amended on the House floor where it passed 111-2.  It now awaits passage by the state Senate.

By the end of this week, it seems North Carolina could become the 12th CBD-Only state, joining Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri (awaiting governor’s signature), New York (governor’s executive order), South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.  Why are legislators so fast to pass these CBD-Only bills?  It’s fair to assume politicians are moved by the plight of epileptic children.  With CBD-Only, there’s no downside of being the guy or gal who voted for legalizing something that “gets you high”.  But even so, how do these bills move so fast and garner little to no opposition?

Because CBD-Only bills are political cover.  Voting for the CBD-Only bill allows the politicians to say they’re sympathetic to the plight of sick people and want to help patients get any medicine that will ease their suffering.  But they can also still play the “tough on drugs” game and maintain their support from law enforcement and prison lobbies.  Their vote garners headlines that a politician formerly considered “anti-medical marijuana” has “changed his mind” or “altered her stance” on medical marijuana.  Best of all, it gets the sick kids and their parents out of the legislative galleries and off the evening news.  For the politicians in these conservative states, it makes the medical marijuana issue go away, or at least puts the remaining advocates in the “we want the marijuana that gets you high” frame where they are more easily dismissed.

Medically, the CBD-Only laws are also a disaster.  Cannabidiol is just one constituent of cannabis and by itself, it doesn’t work as well as it does with the rest of the plant.  Dr. Raphael Machoulem, the Israeli researcher who discovered THC (the cannabinoid that “gets you high”), called it “the entourage effect”, the concept of many cannabinoids and other constituents working in concert, synergistically.  To make an overly-simple analogy, it’s as if we discovered oranges have vitamin C in them, but banned oranges completely and only allowed people with scurvy to eat vitamin C pills.  Yes, those pills can help you if you’re vitamin deficient, but any nutritionist will tell you eating the whole orange will not only allow your body to absorb the vitamin C better, the fiber from the orange is also good for your body, and oranges taste delicious, which makes you a little happier.  Plus, if oranges are in your diet, you’re not going to get scurvy in the first place.

The authors of these CBD-Only bills aren’t writing them for optimal medical efficacy, however, they’re writing them for political cover.  The parents treating their children in Colorado with CBD oil will tell you that it takes quite a bit of tinkering with the ratio of CBD to THC in the oil to find what works best for their child’s type of seizures.  Some of these kids need a higher dose of THC.  But the legislators write the laws mostly to ensure that the THC “that gets you high” is nearly non-existent.

The North Carolina law, for instance, mandates that the oil contains at least 10 percent CBD and less than 0.3 percent THC.  That’s a CBD:THC ratio of at least 34:1.  For comparison, an article by Pure Analytics, a California cannabis testing lab, discusses the high-CBD varietals most in demand by patients are “strains with CBD:THC ratios of 1:1, 2:1, and 20:1.”  The article explains how a breeding experiment with males and females with 2:1 ratios produced 20:1 ratio plants about one-fourth of the time.  It also describes a strain called “ACDC” that “consistently exhibited 16-20% CBD and 0.5-1% THC by weight.”  That’s one variety with a range of 16:1 to 40:1.  But you must only use the ones that are 34:1 or higher.

In another indicator that politicians are more interested in political cover than helping sick kids, many of these laws are written with no mechanism for in-state production and distribution of the CBD oil.  Some expressly protect the parent who goes out of state to acquire the oil (likely from Colorado) and brings it back home.  So parents are given hope for their kids, but they have to go to Colorado, establish three months residency to qualify for a medical marijuana card, clear the hurdles necessary to get their child signed up for the card, purchase the high-CBD oil, break Colorado law by taking it out of state, and break federal law by being an interstate drug trafficker.

Then back home, the parents are safe, assuming the oil they purchased in Colorado meets the CBD:THC ratio mandated by law.  The ratio listed on the label or mentioned by the provider is no guarantee.  At The Werc Shop, a cannabis testing lab in Los Angeles, an intern writes about how she was sold a strain promised to be 15 percent CBD and 0.6 percent THC, a 25:1 ratio that would be illegal in North Carolina if processed into oil.  When she ran liquid chromatography tests on the sample, it turned out to be 9.63 percent CBD to 6.11 percent THC, a 1.6:1 ratio.

CBD-Only isn’t just a political and medical disaster in the states that adopt it.  These laws also have a detrimental effect on the process of passing whole plant medical marijuana in other states.  Every medical marijuana state since California has enacted increasing restrictions on its access based on the need to keep out the illegitimate marijuana users – the ones who just want to get high.  First, qualifying conditions were restricted.  Then, home cultivation of marijuana was eliminated.  Now, medical marijuana laws are being debated and passed that ban all marijuana smoking and allow no access to the plant itself, just pills, oils, and tinctures.

Thus, it is no surprise that as Wisconsin, New York, and Florida are hotly debating and likely to pass whole plant medical marijuana laws, the legislatures and governors of those two states rushed to pass CBD-Only laws first.  It’s reminiscent of then-Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger rushing to sign a marijuana decriminalization bill in summer of 2010 to take the talking point of California arrests for personal possession away from Prop 19′s campaign to legalize marijuana.  Every press conference and public debate about the CBD-Only bills will emphasize “it doesn’t have the THC that gets you high”, forcing whole plant advocates into a defense of THC’s medical efficacy in spite of the “high” even more than they’re already forced to.

This is why any fight to allow patients to grow whole plant medical marijuana with the high-inducing THC in it must now pivot to the support of all adults’ right to grow marijuana if they want to get high.  Every new restriction on medical marijuana, whole plant or CBD-Only, arises from the perceived need to keep the healthy high-seekers out of the medical marijuana.  Eventually, pharmaceutical companies will perfect the CBD:THC ratios and dosages in sprays, tinctures, and inhalers that will surpass the consistency and efficacy of the plant with its natural variety.  Those companies will be glad to supply the 34:1 CBD oil North Carolina requires and whatever ratio any other state requires, for a hefty profit, of course.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference


Join the March Against Fear and Legalize Medical Marijuana


If you want North Carolina voters to have an opportunity to pass a medical marijuana law this November, it is imperative that you join Todd Stimson and many others for a medical marijuana rally this weekend.

On June 6, 2014, Todd Stimson began walking from Asheville towards the capitol in Raleigh to raise awareness about North Carolina’s need to legalize medical marijuana through the Medical Cannabis Act (HB 1161). Along the way he has been interviewed by local and national newspapers.

House Bill 1161 was introduced in the state legislature last month. If legalized, qualified medical marijuana patients and their caregivers would no longer be subject to arrest and prosecution for using marijuana under a doctor’s order. The bill would also set up a regulated medical cannabis supply system for patients to safely access their medicine.

Everyone who believes doctors should have the right to prescribe marijuana for qualifying conditions such as cancer, should join the growing base of supporters this weekend at Jordan Lake and at the Legislative Building in Raleigh Monday through Wednesday to meet with their representatives. Supporters are in the majority, but members of the General Assembly don’t know this fact.

If the Medical Cannabis Act passes, it would allow the citizens of North Carolina to vote for or against medical marijuana in the state in this coming November election. For the bill to pass, it must be approved by a three-fifths vote in both chambers before it can be placed on the ballot.

Despite facing possible felony convictions for cultivating the plant to help many cancer patients in North Carolina, Todd Stimson has humbly walked across half the state for the people who need the plant to survive. “This [march] is about public awareness.  [The Medical Cannabis Act] lets the people decide. We believe in the freedom of choice. You should be able to help yourself and treat yourself. And that’s what we think it should be, to let the people decide instead of them trying to tell us yes or no.”

If you want to join the effort to pass a full medical marijuana bill this year, you can call Todd directly or learn more at the Facebook event page here

Todd Stimson     (828) 699-5704

Where Todd and medical marijuana supporters will be and how you can join them….

June 21 & 22 (Saturday and Sunday)

Parkers Creek Campground at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
Campsites 9, 10, 11, 12 in Loop #1
Map of Area – http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jord/pics/parkerscrk.pdf
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Info – http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jord/main.php

What to bring…
– Water & Gatorade
– Tent
– Business/professional clothes to wear at the Legislative building next week
– Willingness to stand up for what you believe in


June 23, 24 and 25th (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)
Monday is the official completion of the March Against Fear at the next Moral Monday.
Tuesday and Wednesday groups will organize and meet with Representatives in the General Assembly to discuss the need to pass the Medical Cannabis Act.

This weekend and early next week are North Carolina’s best chance to for a public showing and to let our legislators know the importance of passing a true medical marijuana bill en masse. If you believe it is time to end the needless suffering of patients, seriously consider opening your schedule the next few days to join Todd and many others in the final march to open medical marijuana to those in need.

If you do not agree with the laws, NC NORML asks that you do your part to change them.


The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Medical Cannabis Act – HB 1161 (2014)

image-mj leaf and red cross

North Carolina has a chance to legalize medical marijuana in 2014 with the Medical Cannabis Act (House Bill 1161).

The bill would amend the state constitution and allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for qualifying patients with illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.  If passed, medical marijuana patients and their caregivers would be allowed to possess and use marijuana based on a doctor’s guidance.

Similar bills have been introduced in the past. Despite overwhelming support, all potential medical marijuana legislation has been ignored or killed in the first committee hearing. Representative Alexander spoke to NC NORML last year and explained what the citizens must do to pass these bills. In short, North Carolinians must show up in growing numbers and vocalize their support for the bill to their Representatives.

If the Medical Cannabis Act passes, it would allow the citizens of North Carolina to vote for or against medical marijuana in the state in this coming November election. For the bill to pass, it must be approved by a three-fifths vote in both chambers before it can be placed on the ballot.

For this bill to have a chance, please contact your representative and senator and encourage each to support this bill. To change the laws in North Carolina, the members of the General Assembly must be reminded that a strong majority of citizens in this state support the legalization of medical marijuana.

If you do not agree with the laws, NC NORML asks that you do your part to change them.


“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Marijuana (Cannabis) support strengthens in North Carolina


More than four out of ten North Carolina voters believe cannabis should again be legal for adult purchase, and 63% say doctors should be allowed to prescribe medical cannabis.

Public Policy Poll – North Carolina Marijuana Support – January 2014

A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling this past weekend reveals that a strong majority of North Carolinians (63%) want doctors to have the right to authorize cannabis for medicinal use. Last year an identical January poll showed support for medical marijuana at 58%, an increase of five points. Regarding full legalization of the plant, support rose three percentage points (39% to 42%) from this time last year.

Polling results show 53% of North Carolinians think alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis, a view which is certainly supported by all available data. While only 12% see cannabis as being more dangerous, 23% believe the two as being equally dangerous and the rest are not sure.

According to a nationwide CNN poll last week, nearly 75% of Americans think alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis.

The state poll reached 1,384 North Carolina voters from January 9 – 12, 2014.

Regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp, nearly half of those polled believes North Carolina farmers should be allowed to grow the crop. The poll shows 48% support for farmers to have that right, and 18% are not sure. This is the first year a hemp-related question has been polled in North Carolina.

Industrial hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis species of plant. Hemp is similar to marijuana with the exception that hemp (a) contains no psychoactive chemicals and (b) can’t be grown in close proximity to psychoactive cannabis without hurting its quality. According to federal law, hemp is currently illegal to grow but is legal to import and process into textiles, paper, biofuels and food.

Jon Kennedy, an officer with the state chapter of NORML, said the poll results confirm North Carolina is following the nationwide trend of increasing marijuana awareness. “The people of North Carolina are beginning to understand that marijuana is safer than alcohol and are eager for a change in how we spend our tax dollars and generate revenue in the state.”

NORML of North Carolina is a non-profit organization with a mission to move public opinion sufficiently to re-legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults.

Federally, marijuana 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.

There have been no deaths from marijuana overdose recorded. 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.

“Marijuana really is medicine. A recent CNN documentary about its ability to treat severe forms of epilepsy has given hope to families with children suffering from chronic seizures. The National Cancer Institute [cancer.gov] now recognizes marijuana has cancer cell killing properties. Considering plant is effectively non-toxic with no confirmed deaths from overdose and less addictive than alcohol suggests it is time for a reform of North Carolina’s marijuana laws,” added Kennedy.

According to FBI records, North Carolina law enforcement arrested over 20,000 people in 2011 for marijuana related offenses.