Can Patients in NC Get Their Medical Marijuana Cards Easily?

North Carolina – Medical marijuana cards, or MedCard, is a state issued ID card that is used at local dispensaries that provide access to medical marijuana. Currently, there is no course of action to legal marijuana for medical use in North Carolina. Neither THC of High CBD medicines are being considered by the state.

Unlike over half of the United States, NC remains stagnant in adopting this evolution in medicine taking place that has garnered the majority support of the people. As the MMJ program in North Carolina takes shape, the answers for how to get a medical marijuana card will be here. Times are changing quickly, as seen in daily news, public opinion, as well as the stance of our elected representatives due to the widespread support of medical cannabis from voters.

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
  • HIV/AIDS
  • 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. View this marijuana policy project in north carolina.

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.

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.

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