Proposed 2017 NC Medical Cannabis Bill #YesNCCannabis


North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act 2017 SUMMARY: The proposal for House Bill _______ is an amendment to the North Carolina General Regulation of Cannabis; permitting a person with a debilitating medical condition (listed below) the ability to consume, possess, and grow limited amounts of cannabis; providing for the licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and medical stores; permitting local government to regulate or prohibit such facilities based on local vote of registered voters; requiring the general assembly to enact an excise 10% tax to be levied upon sales of medical cannabis requiring that the first $30 million in revenue raised annually by such tax credited as follows:

30% Public School Assistance Fund

20% for Mental Health/Alcohol/Drug services

15% State Law Enforcement

15% State Infrastructure

10% Local Law Enforcement

10% Veteran Affairs

Furthermore, requiring the general assembly to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing and sale of medical cannabis.

CURRENT LAW: Cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule VI controlled substance under the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act. North Carolina spent nearly 55 million enforcing cannabis laws in 2010, while statewide African Americans were arrested for cannabis possession at 3.4 times the rate of Caucasians, despite comparable cannabis usage rates.

According to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union, Cannabis’s recorded use as a medicine goes back nearly 5,000 years. Modern medical research has confirmed the beneficial uses of cannabis — which is also called marijuana — in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, as found by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in March 1999.

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have removed state-level criminal penalties from the medical use and cultivation of cannabis. North Carolina joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens. States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. Therefore, compliance with this act does not put the state of North Carolina in violation of federal law.

BILL ANALYSIS: This bill would enact a new article 43 to Chapter 90 of the General Statutes to establish a statutory scheme to registered qualified patients and up to 2 designated caregivers per qualified patients to grow/assist in the use cannabis for medical purposes.

Protections for the Medical Use of Cannabis.

(a) A cardholder who possesses a valid registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau for:

(1) the medical use of cannabis pursuant to this chapter, if the cardholder does not possess more than the allowable amount of cannabis(allowable twelve ounces), and if any cannabis plants (allowable 6, 4 or less in bloom) are either cultivated in an enclosed, locked facility or are being transported; a. An allowance of 12 ounces to be possessed at medical patient's home without criminal, or civil penalties for their authorized use.b. An allowance of 3 ounces or less to be carried by patient on person or in motor vehicle with the state.C. An allowance of 6 plants cultivated in an enclosed locked facility with no more than 4 in bloom.

(2) reimbursement by a registered qualifying patient to the patient’s registered designated caregiver for direct costs incurred by the registered designated caregiver for assisting with the registered qualifying patient’s medical use of cannabis;

(3) transferring cannabis to a testing facility for testing;

(4) compensating a dispensary or a testing facility for goods or services provided;

(5) selling, transferring, or delivering cannabis seeds produced by the cardholder to a cultivation facility or dispensary; or

(6) offering or providing cannabis to a cardholder for a registered qualifying patient’s medical use, to a nonresident cardholder, or to a dispensary if nothing of value is transferred in return and the person giving the cannabis does not knowingly cause the recipient to possess more than the allowable amount of cannabis.

  • (a) A nonresident cardholder shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or entity, for transporting, purchasing, possessing, or using medical cannabis pursuant to this chapter if the nonresident cardholder does not possess more than 4 ounces of cannabis and the quantity of cannabis products established by department regulation.

  • (b) There is a presumption that a qualifying patient or designated caregiver is engaged in the medical use of cannabis pursuant to this chapter if the person is in possession of a registry identification card and an amount of cannabis that does not exceed the allowable amount. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to cannabis was not for the purpose of treating or alleviating a qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition pursuant to this chapter.

  • (c) A practitioner shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by the Cannabis Medical Board or by any other occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for providing written certifications or for otherwise stating that, in the practitioner’s professional opinion, a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the serious or debilitating medical condition, provided that nothing in this chapter shall prevent a practitioner from being sanctioned for:

  • (1) issuing a written certification to a patient with whom the practitioner does not have a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship; or

  • (2) failing to properly evaluate a patient’s medical condition.

  • (a) An attorney may not be subject to disciplinary action by the state bar association or other professional licensing association for providing legal assistance to prospective or registered medical cannabis establishments or others related to activity that is no longer subject to criminal penalties under state law pursuant to this chapter.

  • (b) No person may be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for:

  • (1) providing or selling cannabis paraphernalia to a cardholder, nonresident cardholder, or to a medical cannabis establishment;

  • (2) being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of cannabis that is exempt from criminal penalties by this chapter;

  • (3) allowing the person’s property to be used for activities that are exempt from criminal penalties by this chapter; or

  • (4) assisting a registered qualifying patient with the act of using or administering cannabis.

(7.) A medical cannabis establishment or a medical cannabis establishment agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, seizure, or penalty in any manner, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to engage in activities related to medical cannabis that are allowed by its registration.

(8.)A dispensary or a dispensary agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, seizure, or penalty in any manner, may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

  • (1) possess, transport, and store cannabis and cannabis products;

  • (2) deliver, transfer, and transport cannabis to testing facilities and compensate testing facilities for services provided;

  • (3) accept cannabis offered by a cardholder or nonresident cardholder if nothing of value is exchanged in return;

  • (4) purchase or otherwise acquire cannabis from cultivation facilities or dispensaries, and cannabis products from cannabis product manufacturing facilities or dispensaries; and

  • (5) deliver, sell, supply, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis products, and cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and dispensaries.A cultivation facility or a cultivation facility agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, seizure, or penalty in any manner, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

  • (a) possess, plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, produce, process, manufacture, compound, convert, prepare, pack, repack, or store cannabis;

  • (b) deliver, transfer, or transport cannabis to testing facilities and compensate testing facilities for services provided;

  • (c) accept cannabis offered by a cardholder or nonresident cardholder if nothing of value is exchanged in return;

  • (d) purchase or otherwise acquire cannabis from cultivation facilities;

  • (e) purchase cannabis seeds from cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and the equivalent of a medical cannabis establishment that is registered in another jurisdiction; and

  • (f) deliver, sell, supply, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to cultivation facilities and dispensaries.A cannabis product manufacturing facility or a cannabis product manufacturing facility agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

  • (1) purchase or otherwise acquire cannabis from cultivation facilities, and cannabis or cannabis products from cannabis product manufacturing facilities;

  • (2) possess, produce, process, manufacture, compound, convert, prepare, pack, repack, and store cannabis and cannabis products;

  • (3) deliver, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis products, cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to dispensaries and cannabis product manufacturing facilities;

  • (4) deliver, transfer, or transport cannabis to testing facilities and compensate testing facilities for services provided;

  • (5) deliver, sell, supply, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis products, cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to cannabis product manufacturing facilities or dispensaries.A testing facility or testing facility agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, seizure, or penalty in any manner, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

  • (a) acquire, possess, transport, and store cannabis and cannabis products obtained from cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and medical cannabis establishments;

  • (b) return the cannabis and cannabis products to the cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and medical cannabis establishments from whom it was obtained;

  • (c) test cannabis, including for potency, pesticides, mold, or contaminants; and

  • (d) receive compensation for those services.

(9.) A cardholder, nonresident cardholder, or the equivalent of a medical cannabis establishment that is registered in another jurisdiction may sell or donate cannabis seeds to cultivation facilities. Any cannabis, cannabis product, cannabis paraphernalia, or other interest in or right to property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of cannabis as allowed under this chapter, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be seized or forfeited. This chapter shall not prevent the seizure or forfeiture of cannabis exceeding the amounts allowed under this chapter, nor shall it prevent seizure or forfeiture if the basis for the action is unrelated to the cannabis that is possessed, manufactured, transferred, or used pursuant to this chapter.

(10.)Possession of, or application for, a registry identification card does not constitute probable cause or reasonable suspicion, nor shall it be used to support a search of the person or property of the person possessing or applying for the registry identification card, or otherwise subject the person or property of the person to inspection by any governmental agency.For the purposes of North Carolina state law, activities related to medical cannabis shall be considered lawful as long as they are in accordance with this chapter.

(11.)No law enforcement officer employed by an agency which receives state or local government funds shall expend any state or local resources, including the officer’s time, to effect any arrest or seizure of cannabis, or conduct any investigation, on the sole basis of activity the officer believes to constitute a violation of federal law if the officer has reason to believe that such activity is in compliance with state medical cannabis laws, nor shall any such officer expend any state or local resources, including the officer’s time, to provide any information or logistical support related to such activity to any federal law enforcement authority or prosecuting entity

Collect fees and sales taxes for licensure and sales

  • A. 10% tax for retail purchases for medical use with a medical registry identification

(12.) Registration of Qualified Patients

  • (a.)Allow qualified patients (person diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition-see below for definition) and designated caregivers (a person at least 21 years old who has agreed to assist with a qualified patients use) to register with the Cannabis Board. Debilitating Medical Condition include:

  • (b.)Cancer, Anorexia, AIDS, Chronic pain, Cachexia, Crohn's Disease, Alzheimer's, Celiac, Persistent muscle spasms, including those associated with multiple sclerosis, Seizures, including, but not limited to, those associated with epilepsy, Severe nausea, Glaucoma, Arthritis, Migraines, and any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities diagnosed by a physician.

  • (c.)“Caregiver” means a person who is at least twenty-one (21) years old who has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient's medical use and cultivation of marijuana and has qualified for and obtained a caregiver identification card issued by the Department. The Department may limit the number of qualifying patients a caregiver may assist at one time and the number of caregivers that a qualifying patient may have at one time. Caregivers are prohibited from consuming marijuana obtained for medical use by the qualifying patient.

  • (d) No school or landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to and may not otherwise penalize a person solely for the person’s status as a cardholder, unless failing to do so would violate federal law or regulations or cause the school or landlord to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

  • (e) For the purposes of medical care, including organ and tissue transplants, a registered qualifying patient’s use of cannabis according to this chapter is considered the equivalent of the authorized use of any other medication used at the discretion of a practitioner and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a qualifying patient from needed medical care.

  • (f) A person shall not be denied custody of or visitation rights or parenting time with a minor solely for the person’s status as a cardholder, and there shall be no presumption of neglect or child endangerment for conduct allowed under this chapter, unless the person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor as established by clear and convincing evidence.

  • (g) Except as provided in this chapter, a registered qualifying patient who uses cannabis for medical purposes shall be afforded all the same rights under state and local law, including those guaranteed under ______ [the state’s disability rights law], as the individual would be afforded if he or she were solely prescribed pharmaceutical medications, as it pertains to:

  • (1) any interaction with a person’s employer;

  • (2) drug testing by a person’s employer; or

  • (3) drug testing required by any state or local law, agency, or government official.

  • (h) The rights provided by this section do not apply to the extent that they conflict with an employer’s obligations under federal law or regulations or to the extent that they would disqualify an employer from a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

  • (i) No employer is required to allow the ingestion of cannabis in any workplace or to allow any employee to work while under the influence of cannabis. A registered qualifying patient shall not be considered to be under the influence of cannabis solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.

  • (j) No school, landlord, or employer may be penalized or denied any benefit under state law for enrolling, leasing to, or employing a cardholder.

  • This amendment will remove cannabis smoking, vaping devices from the “paraphenalia classification” for both medical and non medical cannabis users.

13. Prohibitions, restrictions, and limitations on use of cannabis.This Article does not permit any person to do any of the following:

  • (a) Operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while impaired by cannabis. However, a qualified patient shall not be considered impaired solely due to the presence of cannabis metabolites in the individual's system. Undertake any task under the influence of cannabis, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.

  • (b)Smoke cannabis in a school bus or other form of public transportation, on any school grounds, in any correctional facility, or in any public place in this State.

  • (c)Fraudulent representation to a law enforcement official of any fact or circumstance relating to the medical use of cannabis to avoid arrest or prosecution is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00)

14. Each medical registry identification card that allows a lower tax rate on cannabis shall contain at least all of the following information:

  • (1) The date of issuance.

  • (2) The date of expiration.

  • (3) A random registry identification number.

  • (4) A photograph of the registry identification cardholder

15. Verification System.

  • (a) The department shall maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom the department has issued registry identification cards and their addresses, phone numbers, and registry identification numbers. This confidential list shall not be combined or linked in any manner with any other list or database, nor shall it be used for any purpose not provided for in this chapter.

  • (b) Within 120 days of the effective date of this chapter, the department shall establish a secure phone or web-based verification system. The verification system must allow law enforcement personnel and medical cannabis establishments to enter a registry identification number to determine whether the number corresponds with a current, valid registry identification card.

  • The system may disclose only:

  • (1) whether the identification card is valid;

  • (2) the name of the cardholder;

  • (3) whether the cardholder is a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver;

  • (4) whether the cardholder is permitted to cultivate cannabis plants;

  • (5) the registry identification number of any affiliated registered qualifying patient; and

  • (6) the registry identification of the qualifying patient’s dispensary or dispensaries, if any.

16. Registration of Medical Cannabis Establishments.

Not later than 90 days after receiving an application for a medical cannabis establishment, the department shall register the prospective medical cannabis establishment and issue a registration certificate and a random 10-digit alphanumeric identification number if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • (1) the prospective medical cannabis establishment has submitted all of the following:

  • (A) the application fee.

  • (B) an application, including:

  • (1) the legal name of the prospective medical cannabis establishment;

  • (2) the physical address of the prospective medical cannabis establishment that is not within 1,000 feet of a public or private school existing before the date of the medical cannabis establishment application;

  • (3) the name and date of birth of each principal officer and board member of the proposed medical cannabis establishment; and

  • (4) any additional information requested by the department.

  • (C) operating procedures consistent with rules for oversight of the proposed medical cannabis establishment, including procedures to ensure accurate recordkeeping and adequate security measures.

  • (D) if the city or county where the proposed medical cannabis establishment would be located has enacted zoning restrictions, a sworn statement certifying that the proposed medical cannabis establishment is in compliance with the restrictions.

  • (E) if the city or county where the proposed medical cannabis establishment requires a local registration, license, or permit, a copy of the registration, license, or permit.

  • (2) none of the principal officers or board members has served as a principal officer or board member for a medical cannabis establishment that has had its registration certificate revoked.

  • (3) none of the principal officers or board members is under 21 years of age.

  • (4) at least one principal officer is a resident of _____.

  • (a.)If a local government has enacted a numerical limit on the number of medical cannabis establishments in the locality and a greater number of applicants seek registrations, the department shall solicit and consider input from the local government as to its preference or preferences for registration.

  • (b) The department shall issue a renewal registration certificate within 10 days of receipt of the prescribed renewal application and renewal fee from a medical cannabis establishment if its registration certificate is not under suspension and has not been revoked.

  • (c) In addition to any other penalty applicable in law, a medical cannabis establishment or an agent of a medical cannabis establishment who intentionally sells or otherwise transfers cannabis in exchange for anything of value to a person other than a cardholder, a nonresident cardholder, or to a medical cannabis establishment or its agent is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year or by payment of a fine of not more than $2,000, or both.

17. A person convicted under this subdivision may not continue to be affiliated with the medical cannabis establishment and is disqualified from further participation under this chapter.

#Medical #healthcare #cannabis #cannabinoids #cannabinoid #naturotherapy

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