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Adjustments to hemp extract use for severe epilepsy in NC get final legislative approval

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — The North Carolina Legislature has removed some obstacles from a 2014 law designed for children with severe epilepsy to ingest an extract from a marijuana plant to treat their disease.

The House agreed overwhelmingly Tuesday for Senate changes to a bill adjusting last year's law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. He'll be asked to sign this bill, too.

The new legislation removes requirements that a hemp oil mixture could only be dispensed for patients participating in pilot studies, which haven't materialized. The oil concentration also could be stronger.

The patient's caregiver still would have to register with the state and have a neurologist from any North Carolina hospital recommend the alternative treatment.

The bill also automatically repeals extract use in 2021, when lawmakers hope researchers will know better its efficacy.

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