Are you residing in North Carolina?
Do you want to access marijuana in the state?
Well, if your answer is yes! Then you are at the perfect place! This ultimate guide is going to help you to know about the latest marijuana laws in the state which will ultimately make you decide whether to access marijuana in the state or not.
From a historic journey of the state to the latest laws and guidelines in the region, you are going to know everything about cannabis in North Carolina.
So, let’s get started:
Is Weed Legal in North Carolina in 2021?
This might be the very first question popping into your mind while thinking about cannabis in the state. To answer that, marijuana remains illegal in the state for most purposes. Either it is about medical usage or recreational, the state has very strict guidelines for the offenses related to cannabis, which we will be discussing further.
However, the state has a very narrow exception for the usage of CBD oil for patients with intractable epilepsy. Although the state doesn’t have any regulation by which a patient can access medical CBD oil in the state.
The state has a very interesting historic journey of changing the cannabis laws, however, these changes could not make marijuana legal in 2021 yet. Even though the state has one of the strictest penalties for marijuana offenses. Fortunately, a small amount of cannabis possession is decriminalized in the state, and penalties for the same are reduced. Still, the penalties are harsh enough to make one regret it!
In a nutshell, North Carolina’s cannabis laws are very strict as cannabis for most of the purposes remains illegal in 2021 exception is CBD Oil usage in case of intractable epilepsy. Although the historic journey of the cannabis laws in the state is quite interesting, let’s have a look at them:
A Brief History of Cannabis in North Carolina
Starting from the earlier 20th century, in North Carolina hemp cultivation was quite common during the 1940s. Even at that time, there was a nationwide trend for marijuana prohibition, however, North Carolina didn’t go for it.
Even the state didn’t make any legislative change until 1978. In that year, North Carolina decriminalized the small-quantity of marijuana possession. Well, this legislative change was the result of increasing demand in the region. Even this was the first time that the state took any step favoring marijuana enthusiasts in the state. Later on, there was no further change again for several years.
Well, when there were other states legalizing marijuana in either of aspects, North Carolina’s lawmakers also introduced a medical marijuana bill in 2014 year. This could be another positive change if it got passed, unfortunately, this law got killed in House Committee in 2015. Additionally, the committee also banned any further MMJ bills for two years.
However, one good thing that happened that year (in 2015) was the passing of legislation HB 766 by Governor Pat McCrory allowing CBD oil usage to the patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. Although this law didn’t specify further the accession of CBD oil in the state legally.
The final update in the legislation occurred in 2017 when the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program took effect in the state allowing hemp farming legally. According to a report, in 2017 around 1,000 acres of hemp were grown in the state.
So, finally, this state has one of the marijuana laws which is running quite late as compared to the other states where marijuana is legal at least for medical usage completely. However, even for medical use, the state’s law permits only CBD Oil. In short, there is much more legislation update is needed to make marijuana exist in North Carolina legally.
Current Laws in Action in the State
It can be observed that the state has made cannabis legislation changes very less often, yet marijuana is not legally available for personal or medical usage. However, keeping those laws in mind, you have also to be aware of these guidelines:
- Driving under influence of marijuana is illegal in North Carolina and it can lead one to a huge monetary fine and imprisonment. Level one punishment can lead the offender to up to a $4,000 fine and up to 24 months imprisonment, depending upon the severity of the offense.
- Sharing marijuana to a minor or within 1000 feet of a school, child care center, or park grounds is a felony and can lead the offender to up to 8 years of imprisonment.
- After 1977’s law, the state has decriminalized a small amount of cannabis possession under which half an ounce of marijuana possession is a misdemeanor and punishable with up to a $200 fine. There is no imprisonment sentence for this offense.
Possession, Cultivation, And Consumption
Recreational possession is illegal in North Carolina and can lead to huge monetary and court penalties. Under half an ounce possession is a class 3 misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $200. Possession made within half an ounce to 1.5 ounces is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable with up to 45 days of imprisonment and a maximum of $1,000 fine. Even more possession of marijuana can lead to more harsh penalties.
Cultivating cannabis plants in North Carolina is illegal for any purpose and the state government has punishment accordingly. Any amount of cannabis plant cultivation is a felony which can lead the offender to a $1,000 to $200,000 fine depending upon the severity.
Like marijuana possession and cultivation, consumption of marijuana remains illegal in the state while the state has allowed CBD oil to the medical patient which is the only exception. Even though the state didn’t have any regulations for selling CBD oil legally, therefore, accessing CBD oil in the state is quite tough.
Apart from this, cannabis consumption made while driving a motor vehicle is restricted and can lead to a monetary fine along with a court trial.
In short, cannabis possession, cultivation, and consumption can lead one to heavy legal penalties, therefore, until the laws got relaxed you are recommended to stay under the laws and guidelines.
Medical Marijuana in the State
Medical marijuana in some of the states of the U.S has been legalized completely while some are embracing it slowly. Well, in the modern era of marijuana when even developing countries are accepting its importance, North Carolina is quite backward regarding enabling its usage for medical patients officially.
As there is no medical marijuana program in North Carolina, also, the authorities have permitted only CBD Oil usage in some urgent circumstances therefore, there is no chance that medical cannabis is accessed in the state in 2021.
Although that doesn’t mean the state has never tried to make medical cannabis legal in the region. Even in 2014, a medical marijuana bill was introduced, this law would allow medical patients to access cannabis for their treatment, somehow, the law died in committee in March 2015. This was the first unsuccessful attempt.
Well, the only good thing that happened after this legalization failure was that the government legalized the use of CBD oil for the needy ones in the state. As said earlier, that there is no regulation for medical marijuana as it is not legal therefore, there were no sources in the state from where an adult patient could access CBD oil.
So, summing up the condition of medical marijuana laws in North Carolina, there is nothing right now! Only CBD oil is legalized, which is even tough to get there.
Some Important FAQs
- Is the cultivation of hemp legal in North Carolina?
Yes! As the government has legalized hemp cultivation from the year 2017 though the local authorities’ permission is required.
- Can I possess marijuana in North Carolina?
It is illegal to possess marijuana for personal usage. However, possession made under half an ounce is a misdemeanor and punishable with up to $200.
- Can a medical patient cultivate marijuana plants?
No! cultivation of marijuana remains illegal in NC!
- What is the minimum penalty for driving under influence of cannabis?
Level two punishment under drug driving case leads the offender to up to $2,000 fine and a maximum of up to 12 months of imprisonment. While the level one punishment can lead to a $4,000 fine and a maximum of 24 months jail. Although the penalization begins from a $200 monetary fine along with maximum jail of 60 days and level of punishment depends on the severity of the offense.
- How can I get a medical marijuana card in NC?
As the state didn’t have any medical marijuana program, therefore, you cannot have a medical marijuana card in the region as other states have.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana in North Carolina
Currently, the state has one of the stricter marijuana laws for accessing it in the region. However, other states have relaxing marijuana guidelines even though accessing just CBD in North Carolina is quite tough in 2021. Well, it depends on the lawmakers if they will legalize marijuana in the state further. Until then, we have to stay under the guidelines and follow the laws as authorities are quite strict for marijuana law offenders.
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