medical cannabis nc

NC Marijuana Qualification

Updated on May 11, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Qualifications

Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in North Carolina

The medical marijuana program in North Carolina only recently started. Before 2014, there was no provision for the medical use of cannabis products in the state. Since most state medical marijuana programs are restricted to residents, patients living in North Carolina who suffer from debilitating conditions had no legal source of marijuana therapy.

North Carolina’s medical marijuana program is expanding. From 2014 to 2015 access for patients was increased, and more doctors were allowed to make recommendations. A new medical marijuana bill introduced by state lawmakers in 2017 would greatly expand the program to treat a list of conditions and make marijuana accessible to more patients. House Bill 185, the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act, would establish a medical marijuana program where patients could register for identification cards.

History of Medical Marijuana in North Carolina

In 2014, North Carolina began to recognize the benefits of marijuana for treating seizure disorders by passing a very limited medical marijuana law. Known as the Hope 4 Haley and Friends Act, this initial legislation allowed doctors affiliated with the neurology departments at Wake Forest University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and East Carolina University to recommend cannabis for their patients.

This limited study in the medical benefits of marijuana was applied only to seizure disorders. The marijuana recommended was predominantly CBD, with only trace amounts of THC allowed. Patients in this program were issued a medical marijuana card and allowed to possess the cannabis products that were recommended by their neurologist.

Doctors making recommendations of marijuana therapy had to be registered with the study at one of these four universities. Their patients’ data was tracked and used to provide medical evidence that a state marijuana program is warranted. Neurologists dispensed the hemp oil used in this program that could only contain 0.3 percent THC and had to be at least 10% CBD.

The following year, the governor signed a new law expanding the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This new medical marijuana program is still restrictive by many standards, and it will sunset in 2021.

Current NC Medical Marijuana Qualifications

The North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act enacted in August 2016 is the marijuana state law currently in effect. It stipulates provisions for board-certified neurologists to recommend marijuana treatment even if they are not affiliated with the four universities originally identified. Neurologists can be associated with any state-licensed hospital.

There are no age restrictions on marijuana patients in North Carolina, but only those diagnosed with epilepsy can qualify for medical marijuana therapy. Among epilepsy sufferers, only the most severe cases can be treated with cannabis, and the treatment must be recommended by a neurologist.

The content of the cannabis extracts used for treating patients in North Carolina is restricted to 0.9% THC. The minimum amount of CBD in the treatment is 5%. CBD is the cannabinoid most effective at reducing seizures. The current medical marijuana program in North Carolina is focused on this one positive outcome that cannabis can provide.

How to Apply for Medical Marijuana in NC

If you are looking for relief from intractable epilepsy that has not responded, or no longer responds, to conventional pharmacology, medical marijuana may be the right treatment for you. To begin the application process for your North Carolina medical marijuana card, search for a marijuana doctor in North Carolina.

Only neurologists are able to recommend medical marijuana treatments. We maintain a database of doctors who are willing to recommend marijuana for patients who qualify. Here is more information about getting your North Carolina medical marijuana card.

Learn more about qualifying for medical marijuana in North Carolina. Get info on qualifying conditions and find local doctors at Marijuana Doctors.

North Carolina Medical Marijuana

Updated on November 6, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Recent Legislation Changes

As legislation changes in North Carolina, check back to this section for information about how those legislative changes will affect the prospect of medical marijuana in North Carolina.

Medical Marijuana in North Carolina

On February 22, 2017, state lawmakers filed a bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in North Carolina. The bill is supposed to establish the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act. It would establish a medical marijuana program where patients could register for identification cards. It was sponsored by four representatives: Carney, Alexander, Harrison and R. Moore.

Similar bills have been struck down in the past due to conservative Republican control of the House and Senate. The principal sponsor of the bill, Rep. Alexander, said they’ll continue to reintroduce the bill because there’s widespread acclaim about the potency of marijuana for treatment of cancer, epilepsy and other debilitating diseases.

The Medical Cannabis Act

The proposed Medical Cannabis Act would permit people with qualifying ailments to possess marijuana and use it without being arrested, prosecuted or penalized.

It will only permit patients above 18 to use marijuana unless they have the consent of a parent who has sufficient understanding of the proper use and risks involved with the medication. Cannabis sales would be closely monitored by the state and will only be sold in approved medical marijuana dispensaries.

Qualifying Conditions

Some of the debilitating medical conditions the sponsors of the bill want physicians to use medical marijuana to treat include:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Nail-Patella Syndrome
  • Severe migraines
  • Celiac Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Dystonia
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Myelomalacia
  • Pruritus
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Staphylococcus Aureus
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

A qualified patient or caregiver under this bill is required to obtain a registry identification card issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. The card will identify the bearer either as a patient qualified to use medical marijuana or as a designated caregiver. Card-bearers can also buy medical marijuana from licensed medical cannabis centers. These centers are licensed to operate a business that sells cannabis and products infused with cannabis to individuals with ID cards and other medical cannabis centers.

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Possession and Cultivation Regulations

Possession of marijuana is still a criminal offense in North Carolina because it’s regarded as Schedule VI substance. If a person is found with 0.5 ounces of marijuana, he or she is subject to a $200 fine. However, no imprisonment is allowed for possessing this quantity of marijuana.

Cultivating less than 10 pounds of cannabis is punishable by a three to eight-month jail term and a fine imposed by the discretion of the jury. However, North Carolina has an industrial hemp growing program.

Telemedicine in North Carolina

In the Tar Heel state, telemedicine or Telehealth is defined as using electronic information and communication technology (ICT) to practice medicine between a licensed medical professional in one location and a patient in a distant location:

  • Benefits of Telemedicine The North Carolina Medical Board recognizes that the technological improvements provided by ICT offers patients and providers many unique benefits. Telemedicine is a tool that, if properly used, can increase the access to healthcare, increase the use of specialty expertise, provide instant access to a patient’s medical records and cut down the cost of patient care. The professional practicing through telemedicine must, however, offer the same standard of healthcare as would be provided through conventional methods.
  • Patient-Licensee Relationship North Carolina’s medical board emphasizes the need for a proper patient-provider relationship before and during the telemedicine session. Improper identification could lead to fraudulent activity or false declaration of confidential health information. The licensed professional making use of telemedicine must verify the location and identity of the patient and let the patient know their name, professional credentials and location.
  • Prescription Through Telemedicine — All licensees are to contact patients before making prescriptions. Prescription of controlled substances through telemedicine is permitted, though it’s not regarded as a standard practice. Any provider who prescribes medical CBD through telemedicine to treat pain or any medical condition must obey the appropriate state and federal laws and make a formal report.

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Laws

We offer you instant access to North Carolina’s Full Medical Marijuana Laws. Review all the state regulations for usage, prescription, possession, cultivation, sale and distribution compiled in one place. You’ll also see the criminal charges attached to unlawful possession. These laws are written in a format you can easily read and understand without formal legal training.

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Facts

We offer you detailed and accurate facts about medical marijuana in North Carolina, along with related topics. Take a look at our fact sheets to discover the vital information you should know about medical cannabis. We help you separate facts from myths so you can take full advantage of this plant’s benefits when it’s legalized in North Carolina.

Find Doctors Using Our Excellent Search Tool

To use medical marijuana, you must be properly examined and diagnosed as having one of the ailments that can be treated with cannabis. That’s why we’ve designed an efficient search system to help you locate a competent doctor in your community:

  • Use Our Instant Doctors SearchFeature To locate a doctor in our network who is committed to helping you receive the full benefits of medical cannabis, use our North Carolina marijuana doctor directory when the legislation passes. You’ll be able to easily find doctors by using your zip code or through the city search feature.
  • Examine Each Doctor’s Profile & Read Patient Reviews For each doctor in our network, we publish information about their working hours, service terms and fees, contact details and reviews written by other patients. These reviews will help you discover whether the care and service offered by a particular doctor will suit your taste and satisfy your needs.
  • Book an Appointment Immediately After browsing through a doctor’s profile, you can book an appointment with the doctor instantly. Just click on the “Request an Appointment” link, and you’ll be taken through our short and efficient booking process.

Get Information on Marijuana Dispensaries

Currently, you can buy cannabis oil with very low THC from pharmacy stores, but no marijuana dispensaries have been licensed in North Carolina. However, as soon the use of medical marijuana is fully legalized, we will help you connect to local dispensaries where you can purchase the best strains and brands to treat various conditions.

We’ve helped thousands of people in other states where medical marijuana has been legalized to find top-rated dispensaries that offer excellent customer service. You’ll be able to:

  • View Our List of Dispensaries in North Carolina As soon as medical marijuana is fully legalized in the Tar Heel State, you should look at our directory of dispensaries to find a drug store that offers the best quality of cannabis with top-notch customer service. You can get information about their location, phone number and working hours. All the dispensaries we recommend to patients and caregivers are managed by experienced pharmacists who know the best strains and varieties of cannabis.
  • Book an Appointment Contact a dispensary if you have a prescription for medical cannabis. You can schedule an appointment through to save yourself time. Plus, it’s more cost effective to contact a dispensary and get details about their prices, product availability and operating terms before you visit them in-person. You can also place an online order for pick-up at the dispensary.

For more information about North Carolina medical marijuana doctors and dispensaries, visit our doctors search page and dispensary directory.

North Carolina Qualification

Find out Who Qualifies for Marijuana in North Carolina in our definitive guide of North Carolina’s qualification guidelines. Read up on medical conditions that are covered under North Carolina’s medical marijuana program, age restrictions, criminal conviction restrictions, and more.

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Laws

Read North Carolina’s Full Medical Marijuana Laws to gain full specific knowledge of North Carolina’s exact legal guidelines without interpretation.

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Card

Find out how to obtain a(n) North Carolina Medical Marijuana Card with our guide to North Carolina’s state medicinal marijuana ID program. Some states require that you obtain your card prior to obtaining your medicine, so read here first to ensure that you know North Carolina’s requirements.

The North Carolina Medical Marijuana Library – Learn about who qualifies for medical marijuana, medical marijuana cards, and medical marijuana prescriptions and recommendations in North Carolina