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Is Weed Legal in NC? Nope, but Hemp’s Your Legal High

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RALEIGH, N.C.  (420CanNews) — When former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 766, or the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, back in 2014, it marked the state’s first official step toward the legalization of medical and recreational use of marijuana. Little did anyone know that it would also be North Carolina’s last teeter toward the green side.

But then, in 2017, the state legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp. 

Is weed legal in NC? Well, technically, to some degree, it is. However, saying it is legal in the state is an overreach. North Carolina may not be resisting the legalization of marijuana, but the current confusing collection of regulations does not scream legality. 

Understandably, the obscurities of these new regulations have led to confusion regarding the legalities of weed and other cannabis products because the legalization of industrial hemp wouldn’t make much sense when the consumption of its weed is virtually nullified.

Has North Carolina Legalized Weed?

Now, one could wonder, “Is recreational weed legal in NC?” The answer to that is a resounding No. Plain and simple. The next appropriate question would be, “Is medicinal weed legal in NC?” Yes, it is. But don’t feel relieved just yet because the medicinal use of cannabis is only allowed for a singular and specific ailment. 

Only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy are allowed to consume it. Even patients with other serious illnesses such as Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or even other types of epilepsy aren’t legally allowed to smoke marijuana, neither for recreational or medicinal purposes.

Even then, for this single illness, the state would only allow low-THC, high-CBD cannabis for medical use. To be specific. The cannabis extract must be in oil form and contain less than 0.9% of the psychoactive component of cannabis, Delta-9 THC, and about 5% of CBD, the substance with medicinal components.

The Bid to Legalize Marijuana

In January 2023, several legislators proposed the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act 2023. Once passed, the new bill would allow the medicinal use of cannabis for a much wider array of patients suffering from various diseases. To name a few; Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome, Multiple sclerosis, PTSD, Sickle-cell anemia, and any other patients with serious medical conditions classified by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

However, the legislative session for the year is coming to a close, but the bill movement shows no progress at all. Its probability of becoming law this year is very unlikely.

Ironically, the same set of circumstances pushed the brilliant savants of the cannabis industry to discover ways to work around state laws and create recreational products from hemp.

Getting Baked on Cannabis Made Easy and Legal

Since the legalization of industrial hemp was made into law in 2017, there has been no slowing down in the creation of hemp products. As long as the products contain less than 0.3% of Delta 9 THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. 

The hemp needed to undergo a series of filtration and preparation techniques in order to meet the required substance limits. Whether it was intentional or things happened by happy coincidence, the procedure did nothing less than further enhance the experience of consuming the hemp products.

Dispensaries offering these legal products started popping up and opening their doors. Notably, a place called Blue Flowers started garnering a steady flow of pothead patrons wanting to take the legal path rather than continue acquiring their blunts from shady underground sources. Blue Flowers started making experiments and coming up with great and innovative hemp products like gummies, pre-rolled joints, and the Lemon Drop, and cannabis fans are just loving it.

The Downside

One of the mainstay products of these cannabis dispensaries is hemp-infused juice for electronic vaporizers. Since North Carolina has no law restricting the use of vapes, underage buyers are able to frequent these dispensaries to legally take part in the consumption of cannabis products. These vapes contain 70% of the psychedelic properties of marijuana and were never intended to be consumed by minors. 

Are Weed Cards Useful in NC?

Yes, but there’s an extensive process for acquiring an NC medical marijuana card. 

  1. A reputable neurologist must first diagnose a patient with intractable epilepsy. 
  2. Next, the state requires the patient to appoint a caregiver. Throughout the process, a series of application forms need to be filled out and Leafwell interviews conducted with both the patient and caregiver before final approval and certifications are accomplished.
  3. Thereafter, the certified caregiver is appointed to make the low-THC purchases and administer the product on the patient’s behalf.

North Carolina is among the states that do not accept out-of-state cards, meaning there is no Reciprocity for medical marijuana Cards issued from other states.

Tourist potheads coming from cannabis-legalized states ask, “Is weed legal in NC?” could not expect to light up a joint within an officer’s eyeshot and not be detained. 

The best thing for tourists to do is what they do best, be touristy, and visit the hemp dispensaries available in many areas within North Carolina for an all-new experience in consuming cannabis.

What’s in Store for the Future of Cannabis in NC?

Until the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act of 2023 comes to fruition, the future legalization of cannabis in the state is bleak at best. 

This restriction will continue to be problematic for cannabis enthusiasts who want to not only smoke the joint but also promote the cannabis culture within North Carolina. For now, the hemp industry shows no pause in evolving into the ultimate cannabis bonanza.

For now, this question – “Is weed legal in NC?” continues to have a nuanced response, with many still hoping for more definitive reforms.

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— Story Filed By 420CanNews Staff

Here’s More Information on the Topic:

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NC

How to Get Legally High in NC

Getting High in NC. WUNC Features: Blue Flowers