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Survey of Marijuana Law in the United States: Medical Marijuana

16 states with Laws Specifically about Legal Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 400+ ingredients found in marijuana and is not psychoactive. Many states have passed laws allowing for the use of a CBD extract, usually in oil form, with minimal tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and often for the treatment of epilepsy or seizures in seriously ill children.  Medical marijuana laws have recently passed during 2016 in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota but have yet to become effective

Passing a CBD-specific law is not considered to be the equivalent of making medical marijuana legal because these laws do not legalize use of the marijuana plant for medical purposes.

Alabama Carly's Law

On Apr. 1, 2014, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed SB 174 , known as "Carly's Law," which allowed the use of cannabidiol (CBD) exclusively in studies conducted by the Department of Neurology at UAB [University of Alabama at Birmingham]. However, in 2016, HB61 passed expanded the law to allow patients with qualifying conditions to possess CBD oil up to .3% CBD. A doctor can give qualifying patient and parent caregivers CBD.

Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014

On June 16, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed SB 1030 into law, which allows the use of non-smoked cannabis oil that is less than 0.8% THC and more than 10% cannabidiol by certain patients with cancer, chronic seizures, or severe muscle spasms. 

Georgia Haleigh's Hope Act

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, mitocondrial disease and Parkinson's disease. In May 2018, Governor Deal signed HB65 into law adding PTSD and intractable pain to the list of conditions eligible for cannabis oil treatment. As of June 2018, about 4,000 patients are currently on Georgia's medical marijuana registry

Image result for indiana state flag Indiana Senate Enrolled Act No. 52 

On March 21, 2018 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed the Senate Enrolled Act 52 into law, legalizing cannabidiol oil in Indiana. Manufacturers are required to test each batch of oil to make sure if contains less than .3% THC. Retailers are required to sell only CBD products with the certification that the product is made of industrial hemp and not cannibus

Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act

On May 30, 2014, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed SF 2360 into law. The bill allows the possession or use of cannabidiol that has less than 3% tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] for the treatment of intractable epilepsy with the written recommendation of a neurologist. The bill states that the cannabidiol must be obtained from an out-of-state source and "recommended for oral or transdermal administration" (non-smoked). Smokable forms of marijuana are not allowed. Legal products may include oils, creams, capsules and suppositories.

As of December 1, 2018, less than 400 people have a Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card. 

Kentucky SB 124

On Apr. 10, 2014, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed SB 124 . The law excludes from the definition of marijuana the "substance cannabidiol, when transferred, dispensed, or administered pursuant to the written order of a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a Kentucky public university having a college or school of medicine." 

 In 2017, Kentucky passed HB 333, which clarified that CBD products derived from industrial hemp are legal in the state and limits 0.3% THC in CBD products. 

Mississippi Harper Grace's Law

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.

Missouri HB 2238

On July 14, 2014, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed HB 2238 into law, which allows the use of cannabis oil that is at least 5% CBD and less than 0.3% THC for intractable epilepsy. The bill requires a neurologist to determine that the patient did not respond to at least three treatment options to be eligible to use the marijuana extract.

North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act

On July 3, 2014, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 1220 into law. The bill allows universities to conduct clinical trials using CBD oil. The Act was amended in 2015 now allowing use and possession of lab-certified hemp extracts with less than 0.9% THC and at least 5% CBD to be used only for the treatment of qualifying epilepsy patients that have not responded positively to 3 or more treatment options. 

Oklahoma Katie and Cayman's Law

On Apr. 30, 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed HB 2154 , which allows the use of cannabis oil that is no more than 0.3% THC for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy.

South Carolina Julian's Law

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. A medical cannabis bill is expected to pass in the 2019 state legislative session. 

Tennessee SB 2531

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 allowing 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.                                                                                              State lawmakers filed over 30 marijuana-related bills during the 2017-2018 legislative session but none were enacted.

Texas Compassionate-Use Act

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 and only 21 doctors are registered with the Texas Department of Public Safety to prescribe it. Smoking is not allowed. 

Utah Charlee's Law

On Mar. 21, 2014, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 105 , known as "Charlee's Law," which allows the use and possession of marijuana extract, under certain conditions, by people with intractable epilepsy who have a statement signed by a neurologist. The extract must be composed of less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and at least 15% cannabidiol (CBD) by weight, and may not contain any other psychoactive substance. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2014. The extract must be obtained in a sealed container from a laboratory that is licensed in the state where it was produced, with a label stating the extract's ingredients and origin, and transmitted by the laboratory to the Utah Department of Health. The Utah Department of Health is required to determine the details of the registration program.

Virginia HB No. 1445

On Feb. 26, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed HB 1445 into law. The bill stated: "In any prosecution... involving marijuana in the form of cannabidiol oil... it shall be an affirmative defense that the individual possessed such oil pursuant to a valid written certification... for treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of... intractable epilepsy." The oil must contain at least 15% CBD and no more than 5% THC.

Wisconsin AB 726

On Apr. 16, 2014, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed AB 726 , which states that "any physician may provide an individual with a hard copy of a letter or other official documentation stating that the individual possesses cannabiod oil to treat a seizure disorder if the cannabiod oil is in a form without a psychoactive effect."

In March 2018, the state expanded the affirmative defense for possession of medical cannabis oils to any qualifying diagnosed condition. The oil must at least 15% CBD or at least 15% THCA-A and may contain no more than 5% THC. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy is in charge of regulating every stage of the CBD oil process.

Source:; current as of December 2018

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