North Carolina Marijuana Distribution Laws

What Is Possession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana in North Carolina?

If you are caught in possession of marijuana and authorities suspect that you were in the process of packaging, processing, delivering, or selling it, you are likely to be charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute. However, in order to convict you for this crime, the prosecutor must prove that you knowingly possessed marijuana and intended to deliver or distribute it to another person. Note that possession may be proven by direct or circumstantial evidence. While actual possession is legally sufficient to establish possession, it is not technically required. The prosecutor may infer constructive possession through circumstantial evidence. For instance, if you are aware that marijuana is present or have power and intent to control the disposition or use of the substance, that may be enough to prove possession.

Marijuana possession with intent to distribute is not the same as marijuana possession. When there is no suspicion that you plan to deliver, sell, or distribute marijuana, law enforcement is likely to only charge you with simple marijuana possession.

Can You Enter a Dispensary at 18 in North Carolina?

Cannabis dispensaries selling recreational marijuana are not yet operational in North Carolina as recreational marijuana remains illegal in the state. However, as required in several states in the United States where marijuana is legal, minors are prohibited from entering cannabis dispensaries.

Can You Enter a Dispensary Without a Card in North Carolina?

There are currently no approved cannabis dispensaries in North Carolina as both adult-use and medical marijuana are yet to be legalized. However, like in most states where recreational marijuana is legal, buyers may be required to show government-issued identification cards to prove they are of legal age before purchasing marijuana if the state legalizes marijuana.

What Are the Penalties for Possession With Intent To Distribute First Offense in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, marijuana possession with intent to distribute less than 10 pounds of the substance is punishable by between 3- and 8 months imprisonment and a discretionary fine for a first offense. Possessing 10-50 pounds is punishable by a 25-39 month imprisonment and a fine of at least $5,000. Possessing between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute is punishable by 35-51 months imprisonment and a minimum fine of $25,000.

Per Section 90-95(h) of the North Carolina General Statutes, possession of between 2,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute is punishable by 70-93 months imprisonment and a minimum fine of $50,000. State law prescribes 175-222 months imprisonment at a minimum fine of $200,000 for possessing 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Although many states are loosening their marijuana laws, marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance federally in the United States. While a person may not be charged with a federal crime for possessing the substance at the state level, such a person may face federal drug trafficking charges if caught transporting marijuana across state lines. Federally, the penalties for marijuana possession with intent to distribute are:

  • Less than 50kg: Up to 5 years in federal prison
  • 50-99 kg: Up to 20 years in federal prison
  • 100-999 kg: 5-40 years in federal prison
  • 1,000 kg or more: 10 years to life imprisonment

Is It Legal To Sell Weed in North Carolina?

No. It is illegal to sell weed in North Carolina as marijuana is illegal in the state. You may be charged with drug trafficking or marijuana possession with intent to sell or distribute if caught selling weed. Note that selling weed does not necessarily require the exchange of money. Transferring weed for any form of compensation, whether cash or an item of value, is also considered selling.

How To Sell to Dispensaries in North Carolina?

You cannot sell weed to dispensaries in North Carolina as an individual or a cannabis business. Hence, the state approves no business or persons to sell weed to dispensaries.

How To Get a Distribution License in North Carolina

North Carolina does not currently issue cannabis licenses to businesses or individuals in the state. With the cannabis market and industry yet to be set up in the state, obtaining a cannabis distribution license is impossible.