Update: Legalizing CBD oils in NC - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Update: Legalizing CBD oils in NC

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A North Carolina Republican legislator who says she wants to sponsor a bill to make CBD oils – a strain of medical marijuana – legal in North Carolina, now says she has a slightly different tactic.

After researching it for weeks, Representative Pat McElraft says she wants to get North Carolina involved in a clinical trial of a drug that is a CBD oil, but made by a pharmaceutical company.  She says it would be very similar to the popular strain known as "Charlotte's Web".

"We have looked at it," she said over the phone Wednesday night to Anchor Molly Grantham, "and the best way we think to reach the most children, the quickest way, would be to get our kids here involved in a clinical trial.  I have been in touch with the legal staff of GW Pharmaceuticals in California.  They are interested in our area.  They are very interested in three NC sites -- UNC, Duke, and Wake Forest."

McElraft says she has talked with the head of pediatric neurology at UNC and doctors would be willing to take part in a study.  She has not yet talked with Duke or Wake Forest, but says those two locations have reached out to GW Pharmaceuticals.

Problem is timing.  It may be too late to get North Carolina involved in the latest trial from GW Pharmaceuticals.  If it ends up being too late (McElraft said she should know in a couple weeks), then she wants to start a separate study in our state, of the same GW Pharmaceuticals drug.

"The drug they're testing is called Epidiolex," she says.  "It's the same thing as what we're talking about with Charlotte's Web… high in CBD and low in THC, the stuff that gets you high."

Why go a pharmaceutical route instead of the natural plant?

McElraft says it's not about money.  She says it's because a company can mass produce it, eliminate the waiting list and, eventually, get it FDA Approved.

She says she will still sponsor a bill in May, she's just not sure at this point exactly what the language will be or what that bill will look like.

"I believe I can get certainly get support from my legislative friends," she said.

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