A bill legalizing the use of hemp oil made from a marijuana plant to treat North Carolinians with severe epilepsy is going to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature.
The bill was approved by both chambers of the General Assembly on Thursday. It moved through the legislature faster than any other this session after being approved by the Senate in the morning and by the House just hours later.
A five year old Newport girl's struggle inspired Rep. Pat McElraft to sponsor the bill. Hayley Ward's mother tried all other medicines and nothing had worked.
The oil, which has none of the psychoactive chemicals of marijuana, will be legal for North Carolinians with epilepsy who have not responded to treatment and are under the care of a neurologist. It will be legal as soon as a state registry and other regulations can be established.
Governor Pat McCrory says he'll sign the bill, saying, “This law will help ease the suffering endured by children from whom no other treatments are effective against their seizures,” Governor McCrory said. “I want to congratulate the General Assembly for crafting a bill that not only improves the lives of many North Carolina children and their parents, but also provides common sense regulation and facilitates clinical research at our major research universities.”