2018 ushered in new marijuana laws including laws that pertained to edible marijuana. In a number of states including California, these new laws include outright legalization. These changes don’t mean much to North Carolinian’s, and its hard to see even medical marijuana getting the nod here anytime soon (although non-psychoactive CBD oil was made legal for epilepsy patients by Governor McCrory). What has changed in our state is the number of marijuana edibles cases we’ve seen in the courts. It’s reasonable to think that this increase has a correlation to legalization around the country, and I expect that we will continue to see an uptick in edible cases in the next few years.
With that said, it may be helpful to know how the law in North Carolina treats marijuana edibles and how prosecutors are generally handling these cases.
The North Carolina law that covers marijuana possession is as follows:
A person who possesses marijuana shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, but any sentence of imprisonment imposed must be suspended and the judge may not require at the time of sentencing that the defendant serve a period of imprisonment as a special condition of probation. If the quantity exceeds one-half of an ounce (avoirdupois) of marijuana, 7 grams of a synthetic cannabinoid or any mixture containing such substance, or one-twentieth of an ounce (avoirdupois) of the extracted resin of marijuana, commonly known as hashish, the violation shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the quantity of the controlled substance exceeds one and one-half ounces (avoirdupois) of marijuana, 21 grams of a synthetic cannabinoid or any mixture containing such substance, or three-twentieths of an ounce (avoirdupois) of the extracted resin of marijuana, commonly known as hashish, or if the controlled substance consists of any quantity of synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols or tetrahydrocannabinols isolated from the resin of marijuana, the violation shall be punishable as a Class I felony.
The bold sections of the above statute generally cover marijauana edibles, and in doing so, can make the possession of a pot brownie a very serious offense. Let’s say that you travel to a state that has legalized marijuana, and you bring back to North Carolina a cookie with 5 nanograms of THC. If you were later charged for possession, the arresting officer could possibly charge you with an aggravated misdemeanor or felony if the cookie weighed a certain amount. It would make no difference how much THC was in the cookie.
If an edible was made using THC concentrate (usually the case with candies), an officer could almost certainly charge you with a felony considering the weight threshold is only .15 of an ounce.
These are a few thoughts and considerations on edible marijuana and the law in North Carolina. This is only a brief overview and is not meant to cover specifics that arise in every case. If you have legal questions about edible marijauana in North Carolina, feel free to contact Saad Law for a free consultation.