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North Carolina Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Medical Program

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    30 day supplyAs determined by their physicians

  • Recreational users



  • Cultivation is illegal

Table of contents

  1. Medical Marijuana Laws in North Carolina
  2. What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in North Carolina
  3. Can You Grow Cannabis In North Carolina?
  4. The Bottom Line

Cannabis is illegal for both recreational and medical purposes in North Carolina. However, there is a low-THC program for qualifying patients. Delta-8 and other cannabinoids manufactured from hemp-derived CBD are legal in the state.

Possession of a half ounce or less of cannabis is decriminalized, meaning there is no jail time; however, it’s still classified as a misdemeanor and can be punishable with a $200 fine.

Medical Marijuana Laws in North Carolina

In 2014, a limited medical marijuana law was signed that allows low-THC, CBD-rich hemp-derived products in North Carolina, but medical marijuana is still illegal. Patients with intractable epilepsy may possess and use hemp extracts that have less than 0.9% THC and at least 5% CBD under this program.

There is currently medical cannabis legislation — Senate Bill 3 — making its way through the state legislature that some have said is likely to pass. Senate Bill 3 would establish a state-licensed medical cannabis program and allow patients with qualifying conditions to purchase medicine at authorized dispensaries.

A medical CBD card is the only way to legally consume low-THC CBD-rich cannabis/hemp products in North Carolina unless you live on tribal land.

A Cherokee tribe in North Carolina effectively legalized medical marijuana. Qualifying patients, 21 years or older, residing within the Qualla Boundary may legally purchase 1 ounce of cannabis per day, no more than 6 ounces per month, or 2,500 milligrams of THC, no more than 10,000 milligrams a month.

Qualifying patients who do not live within the Qualla Boundary are still eligible to receive a recommendation and eventually purchase medical marijuana at a forthcoming medical cannabis dispensary located on the tribal land.

What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in North Carolina

Cannabis laws and state programs are different across the country and often have various restrictions or limitations that can be confusing. It’s essential to know the rules in the state you live in or plan on visiting as a medical cannabis patient.

Qualifying Conditions

The only qualifying condition for the state of North Carolina’s low-THC oil program is intractable epilepsy. However, under the EBCI Chapter 17 Program, which will make medical cannabis available to tribal members by late spring of 2023 — and the rest of North Carolina residents shortly after that — there are several other recognized qualifying conditions. These conditions include:

Telemedicine Is Allowed for MMJ Certification

Telemedicine is allowed for medical cannabis certification. Contact Leafwell today and join the waitlist. We’ll help you start your application process to receive your medical card as soon as we’re up and running in North Carolina!

North Carolina Does Not Have Reciprocity

North Carolina does not have reciprocity laws for out-of-state medical marijuana patients. The following states and U.S. territories, however, do recognize out-of-state medical cards:

States marked with * require visitors to complete a visiting patient application for the duration of their stay.

States marked with ^ have adult use programs but do not accept out-of-state cards.

Can You Grow Cannabis In North Carolina?

Cultivation is illegal in North Carolina. Growing marijuana for either personal or medical use is a felony offense. Penalties include fines up to $200,000 and jail time ranging from 3-222 months, depending on the severity of the crime.

The Bottom Line

Marijuana is illegal for recreational and medicinal use in North Carolina, though there is a state-recognized low-THC oil program for patients with intractable epilepsy. Medical cannabis is legal for qualifying patients on tribal land in the Cherokee Nation tribe within the Qualla Boundary. Possessing or using marijuana recreationally will incur penalties, including fines and imprisonment.