CBD

Surprise, Surprise: Southern States’ Laws Concerning CBD Oil

Southern states aren’t known as the most liberal. Aside from the city limits of Atlanta, most of the southern USA is rather conservative. And, ‘conservative’ typically coincides with ‘ant-weed’, and ‘anti-anything having to do with weed’. Sadly, this takes hold of CBD oil, since the miracle oil comes from the marijuana plant. Southern states do have laws concerning CBD oil – but are they too strict?

Alabama

On Apr. 1, 2014, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed SB 174, known as “Carly’s Law,” which allows an affirmative defense against prosecution for CBD possession by people suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition. The law states that “a prescription for the possession or use of cannabidiol (CBD) as authorized by this act shall be provided exclusively by the UAB [University of Alabama at Birmingham] Department for a debilitating epileptic condition.” Since marijuana is illegal under federal laws, doctors are not allowed to write “prescriptions” for it. The states that have legal medical marijuana allow doctors to “recommend” it.

On May 4, 2016, Gov. Bentley signed HB 61 into law. Known as Leni’s Law, the bill provides an affirmative defense for possession of CBD oil “for specified debilitating conditions that produce seizures.”

Georgia

On Apr. 16, 2015 Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 1, (Haleigh’s Hope Act) into law, allowing the use of cannabis oil that is contains no more than 5% THC for the following conditions: seizure disorders, sickle cell anemia, cancer, Crohn’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis, mitochondrial disease and Parkinson’s disease. Deal stated at the signing:

“For the families enduring separation and patients suffering pain, the wait is finally over… Now, Georgia children and their families may return home while continuing to receive much-needed care. Patients such as Haleigh Cox, for whom this bill is named, and others suffering from debilitating conditions can now receive the treatment they need, in the place where they belong: Georgia.”

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, “The new law does not address how low THC oil is made, purchased or shipped. The law only creates a procedure to ensure qualified persons will be protected from prosecution for having it in their possession.”

On May 7, 2018, Gov. Deal signed HB 65 into law, which adds PTSD and intractable pain to the list of approved conditions.

Mississippi

On Apr. 17, 2014, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed HB 1231, “Harper Grace’s Law,” which allows for cannabis extract, oil, or resin that contains more than 15% CBD and less than 0.5% THC. “The CBD oil must be obtained from or tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.” The law also provides an affirmative defense for defendants suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition who accessed the CBD oil in accordance with the requirements set forth in the bill and is effective July 1, 2014.

Governor Bryant released the following statement to the media on Apr. 17, 2014:

“The bill I signed into law today will help children who suffer from severe seizure disorders. Throughout the legislative process I insisted on the tightest controls and regulations for this measure, and I have been assured by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics that CBD oil is not an intoxicant. The outcome is a bill that allows this substance to be used therapeutically as is the case for other controlled prescription medications. I remain opposed to any effort that would attempt to legalize marijuana or its derivatives outside of the confines of this bill.”

On Mar. 20, 2017, Gov. Bryant approved SB 2610, which amended the state’s CBD law to “clarify use in research of seizures and other medical conditions.” The bill allows other pharmacies to dispense CBD in addition to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, with federal and state regulatory approval.

North Carolina

On July 3, 2014, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 1220 into law. The bill allowed universities to conduct clinical trials using CBD oil that was less than 0.3% THC and at least 10% CBD only for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.

On July 16, 2015, Gov. McCrory signed HB 766, which amended the CBD law.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), “hemp extract must be composed of less than nine-tenths of one percent (0.9%) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight, at least five percent (5%) cannabidiol (CBD) by weight and may contain no other psychoactive substances.” By law, patients are allowed to use and possess CBD but it remains illegal to cultivate or produce hemp extract in the state. People in possession of the DHHS Caregiver Registration letter are allowed to carry hemp extract outside their homes.

South Carolina

On June 2, 2014, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed S 1035 into law. “Julian’s Law” pertains to people who obtain a written certification signed by a physician “stating that the patient has been diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, also known as ‘severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy’, or any other severe form of epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies and the physician’s conclusion that the patient might benefit from the medical use of cannabidiol.” Those patients may use CBD oil that is less than 0.9% THC and more than 15% cannabidiol, which is to be provided by the Medical University of South Carolina in a study to determine the effects of CBD on controlling seizures.

Tennessee

On May 16, 2014, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 2531 into law. The bill allows the use of cannabis oil containing cannabidiol (CBD) that has less than 0.9% THC “as part of a clinical research study on the treatment of intractable seizures when supervised by a physician practicing at… a university having a college or school of medicine.” The study is authorized for four years.

On May 5, 2015, Governor Haslam signed SB 280 into law. The bill allows the use of CBD oil that is less than 0.9% THC and that is “obtained legally in the United States and outside of” Tennessee. The bill went into effect immediately.

Texas

On June 1, 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 339 , which allows the use of cannabis oil that is no more than 0.5% THC and at least 10% CBD for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. The bill requires patients to get approval from two certified specialists.

Governor Abbot stated: “There is currently no cure for intractable epilepsy and many patients have had little to no success with currently approved drugs. However, we have seen promising results from CBD oil testing and with the passage of this legislation, there is now hope for thousands of families who deal with the effects of intractable epilepsy every day.”

The law as written requires physicians to “prescribe” CBD, which would break federal law. States with legal programs allow doctors to “recommend” as opposed to prescribe. However, the Texas Compassionate Use Program says that “prescription” is defined as “an entry in the compassionate-use registry” and three dispensing organizations had been licensed as of Dec. 15, 2017.

Is CBD legal in your state? Let us know!

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