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north carolina

How to open a dispensary in North Carolina

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Currently North Carolina is Medical CBD only, in March 2021 House Bill 617 was proposed to fully legalize cannabis and establish regulations for marijuana businesses 

August 5, 2021 a ordinance was approved by The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council to legalize medical cannabis within the Qualla Boundary.


As of April 20, 2021 the bill has not been signed.


The state does not have a regulated program for the cultivation, production, or dispensing of CBD products. The law passed in 2014, called the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act. It initially forced patients to participate in a pilot program. The law was amended in 2015 eliminating the patient’s participation in the pilot program. However, patients must be under the care of a neurologist and diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. The neurologist must be affiliated with an in-state licensed hospital in order to obtain the CBD.


Hemp production has been legalized in North Carolina, but only as part of the state's pilot program as allowed under federal law. The N.C. General Assembly passed Senate Bill 313 in 2015, allowing the Industrial Hemp Commission to develop the rules and licensing structure necessary to stay within federal laws. 



There are currently no available license types. 


If HB 617 is signed into law, it would allow for the following licenses: 


  • Cannabis cultivation facility

  • Cannabis delivery service

  • Cannabis testing facility

  • Cannabis product manufacturing facility

  • Retail Cannabis store 

  • Cannabis transporter 

Medical Marijuana

Medical CBD use is legal in the state, but the law does not provide any regulations for cultivating, production, or dispensing CBD products. 


In order to obtain CBD a patient must have intractable epilepsy, and receive certification from a neurologist in affiliation with a licensed hospital. 


Medical Marijuana Licenses

  • Medical Cannabis Centre License

  • Cannabis-infuser License


North Carolina Marijuana History

2021. North Carolina lawmakers suggest decriminalization of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana with HB290 proposal. Full legalization is considered but not yet approved with the arrival of House Bill 617.


2015. Senate Bill 313 is passed, allowing regulations and licensing structure for hemp production to be developed by the Industrial Hemp Commission. 


2014. The North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act was passed, allowing patients with intractable epilepsy access to medical CBD.

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how to start a marijuana business north carolina

If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in North Carolina, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities. 

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