Crimes involving the sale, delivery, the intent to distribute, or cultivation are also felonies.
Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.
Prior to the waves of legalization and decriminalization in the United States over the last several years, North Carolina was one of the more lenient states when it came to penalties for marijuana possession.
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
The state legislature has introduced multiple medical marijuana bills, none have gained significant traction or been signed into law. The most recent medical marijuana bill in North Carolina, House Bill 401, was introduced in March 2019, but it has yet to make it through committee.
Cultivating cannabis for personal or medical purposes is illegal in North Carolina. The state prosecutes cannabis cultivation as a felony, with even cultivation of small amounts leading to as much as 8 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
There is currently no comprehensive medical marijuana policy in North Carolina.
North Carolina did sign a low-THC medical cannabis bill, House Bill 1220, into law on July 3, 2014. Like most other restrictive medical cannabis laws, it gives only intractable epilepsy patients access to the extracts. The bill further states that cannabis oil must contain less than 0.9% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The bill does not contain any provisions to produce or distribute cannabis oil within the state.
On October 30, 2015, a bill legalizing industrial hemp cultivation became law despite not receiving the signature of Governor Pat McCroy. Under Senate Bill 313, a new industrial hemp commission will manage the commercial growers and researchers of the statewide program.
With more states legalizing the use of marijuana it can be hard to stay up to date on North Carolina marijuana laws. Click to learn more about marijuana laws in NC!
If you feel that you need medical marijuana, your second option is to move to a state that authorizes the use of medical marijuana. Before you uproot your home, you should review the requirements of medical marijuana programs in other communities. Depending on that state’s laws, medical marijuana may be limited such that a doctor in the other state cannot recommend or authorize medical marijuana for your condition. Your North Carolina doctor’s opinion can help, but the opinion of the doctor in the other state will control.
Depending on the quantity of marijuana possessed, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, be confined to the county jail or state prison, and ordered to pay a fine. If the amount of marijuana that you possessed is under 14 grams, the North Carolina penal code requires that you be placed on probation for your first offense. This means that you will not face jail time for your first marijuana arrest.
Options for Obtaining Medical Marijuana in North Carolina
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
It may seem frustrating that North Carolina seems behind the wave of medical marijuana reform. However, the issue will be moot as long as state and federal laws conflict. For example, even though you can possess medical marijuana in California pursuant to state medical marijuana laws, you are considered in violation of federal statutes. Marijuana is still illegal and prosecuted pursuant to federal laws. You could end up relocating to another state only to be convicted of possession of marijuana by federal prosecutors.
California has authorized the use of medical marijuana. In California, if you carry a Medical Marijuana Identification Card, you are not likely to be charged or even arrested for possessing marijuana. North Carolina is distinctly different. The North Carolina penal code does not provide exceptions for the possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Possession is possession. Penalties for possessing medical marijuana are the same as those for possession of recreational marijuana.
Relocating to a State Where Medical Marijuana Use is Legal
States that Authorize Medical Marijuana v. North Carolina
Federal Laws and Medical Marijuana Use
In the last several years, many states have implemented statutes authorizing the medicinal use of marijuana. Despite several attempts to pass medical marijuana statutes, North Carolina is not one of these states, yet. As such, you cannot get medical marijuana in the state of North Carolina.