Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB 1220, The North Carolina Compassionate Use Registration Act, into law in 2014.

HB 1220 grants patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy access to low-THC hemp extract as an alternative form of treatment.

In July 2015, HB 1220 was amended and expanded the number of qualified physicians and increased the number of certified hospitals from the original four.

The medical cannabis program is set to end in 2021 if studies fail to show conclusive evidence of cannabidiol's (CBD) therapeutic properties. 

Currently, possession and consumption of usable cannabis is still prohibited and can result in serious criminal penalties.

In 2014, the U.S. Congress passed a Farm Bill that authorized industrial hemp programs and modified the federal definition of marijuana to exclude hemp. 7 U.S.C. § 5940 provides that any part of the Cannabis sativa plant with a THC concentration of less than 0.3% is deemed industrial hemp and not marijuana, notwithstanding the definition under the CSA. 

The Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) also recently reclassified some CBD products as Schedule V controlled substances, apparently to allow Epidiolex (mentioned above) onto the market. Under that directive, a product containing CBD with less than 0.1% THC content would be a schedule V controlled substance, instead of schedule I. The directive is narrow and directed specifically at Epidiolex; all other CBD products are presumably still treated as a schedule I substance.