Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 1220 (HB 1220), the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, into law in 2014. HB 1200 grants patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy access to low-THC hemp extract as an alternative form of treatment.
HB 1220 was amended in July 2015 to expand the number of qualified physicians, and increase the number of certified hospitals. The medical cannabis program is set to end in 2021 if studies fail to show conclusive evidence of CBD’s 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) has been given regulatory oversight of the program, and is responsible for enrolling registered patients and caregivers in the program. Additionally, the DHHS has set certain requirements 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 on behalf of their patients. North Carolina does not currently have a state-regulated supply chain or any other state-sponsored method of obtaining CBD oil. Caregivers must purchase CBD in a state that offers reciprocity for its medical marijuana program. Consequently, North Carolina does not have a system in place that would allow caregivers to purchase low-THC hemp extract within the state.
Where is it Safe to Consume?
There have been no limits or restrictions placed on patient consumption.
HB 1220 only allows for patients to consume and possess the hemp extract. However, there is no possession limit. Legally, the hemp extract must be composed of less than nine-tenths of one percent (0.9%) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight, and at least five percent (5%) cannabidiol (CBD) by weight.
The DHHS has created an online registry for doctors, caregivers, and patients of intractable epilepsy. Only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, and their caregivers, 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 extract must have responded to at least three (3) or more prior treatment options with little to no success. Once hemp 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.
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. Registered caregivers can only be a parent, legal guardian or custodian of a person with intractable epilepsy. 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.
This page was last updated on June 4, 2018.