Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB 1220, the North Carolina Compassionate Use Registration Act, into law in 2014. HB 1220 grants patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy access to low-THC hemp extract as an alternative form of treatment.
In July 2015, HB 1220 was amended and expanded the number of qualified physicians and increased the number of certified hospitals from the original four. The medical cannabis program is set to end in 2021 if studies fail to show conclusive evidence of cannabidiol’s (CBD) therapeutic properties. Currently, possession and consumption of usable cannabis is still prohibited and can result in serious criminal penalties.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is responsible for regulatory oversight of the program, and for enrolling registered patients and caregivers in the program. The DHHS maintains certain requirements, such as providing written certifications, for patients and caregivers to participate in the program.
Where is it Safe to Purchase?
Caregivers are solely responsible for obtaining low-THC hemp extract. Specifically, the hemp extract must be composed of less than 0.9% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight, at least 5% cannabidiol (CBD) by weight, and may contain no other intoxicating substances.
North Carolina does not currently have a state-regulated supply chain or any other state-sponsored method of obtaining hemp oil extract. Caregivers must purchase hemp oil extract in a state that offers reciprocity. Consequently, North Carolina does not have a system in place that allows caregivers to purchase hemp oil extract within the state.
Where is it Safe to Consume?
North Carolina has not placed limits or restrictions on patient consumption.
HB 1220 allows only for patients to consume and possess the hemp oil extract. However, there is no possession limit. Legally, the hemp oil extract must be composed of less than 0.3% THC by weight, and at least 10% CBD by weight.
The DHHS forbids the cultivation of cannabis or the production of hemp oil extract for any reason within North Carolina.
The DHHS maintains an online registry for doctors, caregivers, and patients of intractable epilepsy. Only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy and their caregiver, are eligible to participate in the program.
Patients who are diagnosed must be under the care of a state-licensed neurologist associated with any state-accredited hospital. Additionally, patients who qualify to receive hemp oil extract must have demonstrated at least three or more prior treatment options that showed little to no success, substantiating the intractable component. Once hemp oil extract has been recommended by a physician, patients are automatically added to the registry.
Patients must appoint a caregiver to obtain the extract. No registry card is required for patients. There is no minimum age for patients who can participate in the program, though caregivers must be at least 18 years old.
All registered patients must have a registered caregiver. Patients’ caregivers must be at least 18 years old and must be a permanent resident of North Carolina. Only a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a person with intractable epilepsy is eligible to be a registered caregiver.
Once all materials have been submitted, and the application has been processed, caregivers will receive a letter from the DHHS authorizing their approval. Caregivers must carry this letter with them when in possession of hemp extract within North Carolina.
- Submit a valid North Carolina ID card or driver’s license to show proof of age and residency.
- Obtain a written statement from a state-licensed neurologist.
- Complete and submit a written caregiver’s application.
There is currently no lab testing required by the state.
The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.
This page was last updated on June 10, 2019.