Legislation allowing for low-THC, CBD-rich marijuana oil has been approved for limited use in 14 states.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many chemicals in marijuana. Recent publicity about children who suffer from seizures benefitting from oil extracted from marijuana that has almost no THC has set off a wave of legislation like never seen before. Now state reps can favor marijuana without the fear of people getting high from it. This explains why so many Republicans are sponsoring these bills.
Here's a state-by-state breakdown, in alphabetical order:
On Apr. 1, 2014, Gov. Robert Bentley signed Carly's Law, named for three-year-old Carly Chandler, making Alabama the second state to legalize CBD oil. On Mar. 11, Alabama's Senate voted unanimously in favor of SB 174. The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Paul Sanford, calls for the University of Alabama to conduct research into cannibidiol's efficacy in treating neurological conditions such as epilepsy. UAB would be able to prescribe the oil to approved patients. One million dollars has been allocated for the study.
On Apr. 22, 2014, HB 843 passed the House Judiciary Committee by a 15-3 vote. The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, calls for "four regional orginizations around the state" to "grow, test and dispense" the oil. A patient registry would be created. Unlike other CBD legislation, HB 843 is not limited to seizure conditions; patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, PTSD and cancer would also qualify. It was passed by a 111-17 margin on May 1. The Senate version passed the bill by a 36-3 margin on May 2. Gov. Rick Scott signed th bill into law on June 16, making Florida the ninth state to legalize CBD oil.
HB 885, CBD oil legislation known as Haleigh's Hope Act (named for four-year-old Haleigh Cox), failed to receive a Senate vote after sailing through Georgia's House on Mar. 4, 2014. However, in May, Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executiuve order calling for a study. The British firm GW Pharmaceuticals and Georgia Regents University are collaborating on the research. The legislation was reintroduced for the 2015 session. The House passed it on Mar, 25, 2015. The bill covers eightt conditions, including seizures, cancer, MS, ALS, sickle cell and mitchondria. Gov. Deal signed the bill into law on Apr. 16, making Georgia the 13th state to legalize CBD oil.
On Apr. 9, 2014, the House Public Safety Committee passed a CBD oil bill by a 13-5 margin. The legislation, already been approved by the Senate, is strictly intended for patients with epilepsy or other seizure disorders. It allows for possession of a six-months supply (32 ounces) and calls for the University of Iowa to conduct a CBD study. Patients will need to go out-of-state (presumably to Colorado) to acquire the oil. On May 30, Gov. Terry Branstad signd the bill into law, making Iowa the eighth state to legalize CBD oil.
On Apr. 11, 2014, Gov. Steve Beshear signed SB 124 into law, making Kentucky the third state to legalize CBD oil. On Mar. 12, Kentucky's Senate unanimously approved the bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Julie Denton. On Mar, 26, the House did the same. The new law alows the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville med schools to conduct research into CBD oil and provide it to patients enrolled in the trial program.
On Apr. 17, 2014, Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill named for two-year-old Harper Grace Durval, making Mississippi the fifth state to legalize CBD oil. The bill calls for the National Center for Natural Products Research in Oxford to produce the medicine.
On May 1, 2014, the Missouri House (136-12) and Senate (unanimous) passed CBD-only leglislation.The bill directs the state's Department of Agricultiure to set up a system for non-profit applicants to produyce the oil under Health and Senior Services guidelines. Patients who suffer from seizures must prove that other treatment regimens have failed. On July 18, Gov. Jay Nixon signed the bill, making Missouri the 11th state to legalize CBD oil.
On June 27, 2014 the state legislature passed CBD-oil bills (there was only on nay vote). The legislation calls for a trial study to be conducted by the state's top four universities - UNC, Duke, Wake Forest and East Carolina. Th primarry focus is making making the oil avaialble to youngsters who suffer from seizures. Neurologists are responsble for providing the medicine. Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law into law on July 3, making North Carolina the 10th state to legalize CBD oil.
On Apr. 30, 2015, Gov. Mary Fallon signed legislation making Oklahoma the 14th state to legalize CBD oil. “This bill will help get sick children potentially life-changing medicine,” Fallin started. “By crafting the legislation in a way that allows for tightly controlled medical studies, we can ensure we are researching possible treatments in a responsible and scientific way. It is not marijuana, and it is not anything that can make you high. This law has been narrowly crafted to support highly supervised medical trials for children with debilitating seizures."
CBD oil legislation passed South Carolina's House (92-5) and Senate (unanimous), and became law on May 28, 2014 when Gov. Nikki Haley did not veto the bill, making South Carolina the seventh state to legalize CBD oil. Th bill requires a clinical trial to be established at the University of South Carolina.
In May 2014, Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill that directs Tennessee Tech University to create a research program to study the efficacy of CBD oil used to prevent seizures, making Tennessee the sixth state to legalize CBD oil. The University is required to provide oil to other schools of medicine. All research must be completed by 2018.
On June 1, 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 339 into law, making Texas the 15th state to legalize CBD oil. Read more about it here.
On Mar. 25, 2014, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed HB 105 into law, making Utah the first state to legalize CBD oil. On Mar. 11, Utah's Senate unanimously passed the bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Gage Froerer, which instructs the state's Department to Agriculture to grow low-THC industrial hemp for the purpose of producing cannabis oil. Known as the "Plants Extracts Amendment," the bill allows Utah resdients to acquire the medicine in Colorado and bring it back to Utah.
After sailing through Virginia's Senate, the House version of SB 1235 received a unanimous 98-0 vote in favor on Feb. 10. The bill prevents patients from being prosecuted for using cannabis oil for seizure-related conditions. On Feb. 26, 2015, Democrartic Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the bill into law, making Virginia the 12th state to legalize CBD oil.
On June 30, 2015, House bill 32 went into effect, making Wyoming the 16th state to legalize CBD oil. The state Department of Health is required to create hemp extract registration cards and a confidential data base. A neurologist must first determine whether the patient is qualified to use cannabidiol.
Two other states have also weighed in on the CBD oil issue:
On Apr. 7, 2015, the Idaho House approved a CBD oil bill by a close 39-30 vote. Named for 11-year-old epilepsy patient Alexis Carey, the legislation would allow parents to possess up to 32 fluid ounces of liquid cannabidiol (max 15% CBD and .03% THC) to administer to chilldren who suffer from seizure disorders. On Apr. 16, Gov. Butch Otter vetoed the bill. However, he says he'll issue an executive order requiring the state's Department of Health and Welfare to study the effects of CBD oil pn epilepsy; this may lead to accees to the oil for children. But Idaho at this point sode not qualify as a CBD-legal state.
On June 3, 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state has entered into an agreement with GW Pharmaceuticals to investigate the efficacy of cannabidiol use by children suffering from the seizure disorders Dravet's syndrome and Lennox-Gastuat syndrome. The clinical trials will take place at hospitals, universities and medical colleges. GW is already working with NYU's Langone Medical Center on a trial involving 60 children and their CBD product, Epidiolex. New York passed a broader medical marijuana bill on June 20.
For more info about states with pending marijuana legislation, go here.