In July 2014, North Carolina enacted the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act (HB 1220), creating a pilot program that allows medical use of CBD-rich oil only for registered patients diagnosed by a neurologist at one of four universities as having intractable epilepsy. The CBD-rich oil authorized by the law for patients to access must contain at least 10 percent CBD, no more than 0.3 percent THC, and must have no other psychoactive components. Patients admitted to the state’s extremely limited program must demonstrate that at least three other treatment options have not been successful in addressing the underlying health condition. The law stipulates that access is only through a registered caregiver who must be a parent, guardian, or legal custodian, and who must obtain the CBD oil in a state with reciprocity to purchase medical cannabis products. Most medical cannabis jurisdictions that honor reciprocity for other state registration cards do not allow patients/caregivers from out of state to purchase any medical cannabis products.
In 2015, Governor McCory signed HB 766 into law, legislation amending 2014’s HB 1220 to expand the types of qualified physicians who may recommend state-authorized medical cannabis products to patients to include any board-certified physician certified in neurology and affiliated with any state-licensed hospital. The bill also changed the required THC/CBD percentages for medical cannabis from greater than 10 percent CBD and less than 0.3 percent THC to greater than 5 percent CBD and less than 0.9 percent THC. Finally, the law enhanced patient privacy, but also included a sunset clause ending the state’s medical cannabis program in 2021 if studies fail to show therapeutic relief from CBD.
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