NORTH CAROLINA: McCrory says he plans to sign CBD oil bill - WNCN: News, Weather

Gov. McCrory says he plans to sign bill legalizing cannabis oil

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CBD oil is derived from a strain of medical marijuana and is believed to reduce seizures in epileptic children. CBD oil is derived from a strain of medical marijuana and is believed to reduce seizures in epileptic children.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday that he plans to sign into law a bill legalizing the use of medicinal oil derived from a strain of medical marijuana to treat severe forms of epilepsy.

The North Carolina Senate unanimously voted Thursday in favor of House Bill 1220, which would legalize and regulate hemp oil extract to be used in treating severe epilepsy that has not been responsive to three or more treatments.

The oil is derived from a strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, which is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in CBD, cannibidiol. THC is the psychoactive element in marijuana that gives a user a "high."

State Rep. Pat McElraft (R-Carteret County), who introduced the legislation, insists the "Hope 4 Haley and Friends" bill does not legalize medical marijuana, rather "this is only a medicine for these children so that they can develop motor skills."

"I am adamantly opposed to marijuana, to the legalization of marijuana," McElraft said. "This is a hemp oil bill that's high in CBD, which is the healing part of the brain. But it's very low on THC -- less than 0.3 percent. You can drink a whole bottle of it and never get high."

After passing the Senate, the bill returned to the House for approval of changes to the bill, including verbiage that fast-tracks the use and possession of CBD oil in the state. The House approved the measure 112-1, the only dissenting vote coming from Rep. Carl Ford (R-Rowan).

"I said in the beginning, we will prevail and that's always been kind of my statement amongst the group. And we did it, we prevailed," said Steve Carlin, whose 5-year-old daughter Zora suffers from severe seizures.

The bill is now in McCrory's hands. McCrory said he plans to sign the bill into law, saying it "will help ease the suffering endured by children for whom no other treatments are effective against their seizures."

If McCrory signs the legislation, CBD oil would be made available to individuals who suffer from "intractable seizures" as soon the the Department of Health and Human Services adopts temporary rules to issue registration cards for the oil's use, and a database of registered caregivers, patients and recommending neurologists.

"I'm very excited," Carlin said. "I'm looking forward to the day she gets to try this and see how well it works for her. I'm a little choked up because I know she's going to have an opportunity to potentially move forward in her life."

DHHS will have until Oct. 1 to establish the required guidelines.

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