By TJ Baker June 25, 2014
RALEIGH, NC — A bill to allow patients who suffer from intractable epilepsy access to cannabinol, or CBD, based medical marijuana has been unanimously approved by a key committee in the North Carolina Senate, and will be considered by the full Senate on Thursday.
House Bill 1220, which has already been approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 111 to 2, was approved by the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations on Wednesday.
The bill will now be brought to a debate and possible vote by the full Senate on Thursday. North Carolina’s legislative session ends on July 1st.
If passed, the bill would allow for the possession of cannabis extracts for those with seizure disorders who receive a recommendation from a neurologist, and subsequently obtain a registration card from the state’s Department of Health.
The cannabis extracts must contain less than less than .3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and must contain at least at least 10 percent cannabidiol (CBD).
Neurologists would be authorized to dispense the medicine to patients.
According to the current version of the bill, a person could use marijuana oil extract if they meet certain conditions. The person has to suffer from intractable epilepsy, a North Carolina resident and be examined by a neurologist who recommends hemp extract oil.
A provision in the bill also encourages several prominent schools in the state — Wake Forest University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — to research the effectiveness of cannabis oil on seizure disorders.
The bill was amended in the Senate to also require the physicians to participate in a state pilot study of the effectiveness of cannabis oil treatment on seizure disorders.
The full text of the most current version of the bill can be found here.
To date, 9 other states — Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin – have enacted similar legislation, and a tenth, Missouri, has also passed a similar bill that is awaiting action by Governor Jay Nixon, who is expected to sign the bill within the few weeks.
Marijuana reform activists, however, contend that these limited CBD-only bills are unlikely to provide many patients, if any, with relief, and call for more comprehensive medical marijuana bills similar to those enacted in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
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