Bill Summary for H 858 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

May 6 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 858 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Intro. by Martin, Faircloth, Belk.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 90-94.1, now providing an exemption for the possession of cannabis, rather than hemp extract, if three criteria are met. Defines cannabis to mean the same as the definition provided for marijuana under GS 90-87, which defines terms applicable to the NC Controlled Substances Act. Exemption criteria include: (1) possessing or using cannabis to treat one or more medical conditions if the quantity of usable cannabis possessed does not exceed an adequate supply determined by the patient's physician; (2) possesses a written certification (defined in GS 90-113.101, as amended) in close proximity to the cannabis; and (3) the individual is a caregiver (defined in GS 90-113.101, as amended). Makes the previous provisions providing for administration, criminal immunity, and proper disposal of hemp extract applicable to cannabis. Makes conforming deletions and conforming changes to the section's title.

Revises Article 5G of GS Chapter 90, renaming the Article as the Cannabis Alternative Treatment Act (was the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act). Changes the purpose of the act to permitting the use of cannabis as an alternative treatment for medical conditions 9was, to permit the use of hemp extract as an alternative treatment for medical conditions). Revises the legislative findings. Modifies the Article's defined term's as follows. Adds cannabis, defined to have the same meaning as marijuana in GS 90-87 and to refer to quantities of 1.5 ounces or less. Now defines patient as an individual who has been diagnosed by a physician with one or more medical conditions. Adds and defines written certification to mean a statement in a patient's medical records or a statement signed by a physician with whom the patient has a bona fide physician patient relationship indicating that, in the physician's professional opinion, the patient has a medical condition and the potential health benefits of the medical use of cannabis would likely outweigh the health risks for the patient. Adds and defines physician. Makes conforming revisions to caregiver. Makes conforming deletions. 

Directs the Department of Health and Human Services to create an electronic Cannabis Alternative Treatment database registry for the registration of physicians, caregivers, and patients under the Article. Revises the immunity granted to neurologists to approve of dispensation of hemp extract to registered caregivers to make the provisions applicable for physicians dispensing cannabis to registered caregivers. Makes conforming changes.

Adds a new section, stating legislative intent that any physician who issues a written certification to a patient be permitted to participate in objective scientific research with persons registered in the database registry under GS 90-113.102, as amended, regarding the administration of cannabis as part of medical treatment. Provides parameters of research permitted to be conducted under the Article. Grants criminal immunity to and prohibits professional action against physicians or persons registered to conduct research under GS 90-113.102.

Provides a severability clause.

Applies to offenses committed on or after July 1, 2021.