Article 5D.

Control of Methamphetamine Precursors.

90-113.50. Title.

This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "Methamphetamine Lab Prevention Act of 2005." (2005-434, s. 1.)

 

90-113.51. Definitions.

(a) For purposes of this Article, "pseudoephedrine product" means a product containing any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine base, their salts or isomers, or salts of their isomers.

(b) For purposes of this Article, a "retailer" means an individual or entity that is the general owner of an establishment where pseudoephedrine products are available for sale.

(c) For purposes of this Article, the "Commission" means the Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. (2005-434, s. 1.)

 

90-113.52. Pseudoephedrine: restrictions on sales.

(a) A pseudoephedrine product in the form of a tablet, caplet, or gel cap shall not be offered for retail sale loose in bottles but shall be sold only in blister packages.

(b) Pseudoephedrine products shall not be offered for retail sale by self-service, but shall be stored and sold in the following manner: Any pseudoephedrine product in the form of a tablet or caplet containing pseudoephedrine as the sole active ingredient or in combination with other active ingredients shall be stored and sold behind a pharmacy counter.

(c) A pseudoephedrine product may be sold at retail without a prescription only to a person at least 18 years of age. The retailer shall require every retail purchaser of a pseudoephedrine product to furnish a valid, unexpired, government-issued photo identification and to provide, in print or orally, a current valid personal residential address. If the retailer has reasonable grounds to believe that the prospective purchaser is under 18 years of age, the retailer shall require the prospective purchaser to furnish photo identification showing the date of birth of the person. The name and address of every purchaser shall be entered in a record of disposition of pseudoephedrine products to the consumer on a form approved by the Commission. The record of disposition shall also identify each pseudoephedrine product purchased, including the number of grams the product contains and the purchase date of the transaction. The retailer shall require that every purchaser sign the form attesting to the validity of the information. The form approved by the Commission shall be constructed so that it allows for entry of information in electronic format, including electronic signature. The form shall also be constructed and maintained so as to minimize disclosure of personal information to unauthorized persons.

(d) A retailer shall maintain a record of disposition of pseudoephedrine products to the consumer for a period of two years from the date of each transaction. A record shall be readily available within 48 hours of the time of the transaction for inspection by an authorized official of a federal, State, or local law enforcement agency. The records maintained by a retailer are privileged information and are not public records but are for the exclusive use of the retailer and law enforcement. The retailer may destroy the information after two years from the date of the transactions.

(e) This section does not apply to any pseudoephedrine product that is in the form of a liquid, liquid capsule, gel capsule, or pediatric product labeled pursuant to federal regulation primarily intended for administration to children under 12 years of age according to label instruction, except as to those specific products for which the Commission issues an order pursuant to G.S. 90-113.58 subjecting the product to requirements under this Article. (2005-434, s. 1; 2006-186, s. 1; 2012-35, s. 2.)

 

90-113.52A. Electronic record keeping.

(a) A retailer shall, before completing a sale of a product containing a pseudoephedrine product, electronically submit the required information to the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) administered by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), provided that the NPLEx system is available to retailers in the State without a charge for accessing the system and the retailer has Internet access. The seller shall not complete the sale if the system generates a stop alert. Absent negligence, wantoness, recklessness, or deliberate misconduct, any retailer utilizing the electronic sales tracking system in accordance with this subsection shall not be civilly liable as a result of any act or omission in carrying out the duties required by this subsection and shall be immune from liability to any third party unless the retailer has violated any provision of this subsection in relation to a claim brought for such violation.

(b) If a pharmacy selling a product containing a pseudoephedrine product experiences mechanical or electronic failure of the electronic sales tracking system and is unable to comply with the electronic sales tracking requirement, the pharmacy or retail establishment shall record that the sale was made without submission to the NPLEx system in the record of disposition required under G.S. 90-113.52.

(c) The NADDI shall forward North Carolina transaction records in NPLEx to the State Bureau of Investigation weekly and provide real-time access to NPLEx information through the NPLEx online portal to law enforcement in the State as authorized by the SBI, provided that the SBI executes a memorandum of understanding with NADDI governing access.

(d) This system shall be capable of generating a stop sale alert, which shall be a notification that completion of the sale would result in the seller or purchaser violating the quantity limits set forth in G.S. 90-113.52. The system shall contain an override function that may be used by a dispenser of a pseudoephedrine product who has a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm if the dispenser does not complete a sale. Each instance in which the override function is utilized shall be logged by the system. (2011-240, s. 2.)

 

90-113.53. Pseudoephedrine transaction limits.

(a) No person shall deliver to any one person, attempt to deliver to any one person, purchase, or attempt to purchase at retail more than 3.6 grams of any pseudoephedrine products per calendar day. This limit does not apply if the product is dispensed under a valid prescription.

(b) No person shall purchase at retail more than 9 grams of pseudoephedrine products within any 30-day period. This limit does not apply if the product is dispensed under a valid prescription.

(c) This section does not apply to any pseudoephedrine products that are in the form of liquids, liquid capsules, gel capsules, or pediatric products labeled pursuant to federal regulation primarily intended for administration to children under 12 years of age according to label instruction, except as to those specific products for which the Commission issues an order pursuant to G.S. 90-113.58 subjecting the product to requirements under this Article. (2005-434, s. 1; 2006-186, s. 2; 2012-35, s. 1.)

 

90-113.54. Posting of signs.

(a) A retailer shall post a sign or placard in a clear and conspicuous manner in the area of the premises where the pseudoephedrine products are offered for sale substantially similar to the following: "North Carolina law strictly prohibits the purchase of more than 3.6 grams total of certain products containing pseudoephedrine per day, and more than 9 grams total of certain products containing pseudoephedrine within a 30-day period. This store will maintain a record of all sales of these products which may be accessible to law enforcement officers.

(b) This section does not apply to any pseudoephedrine products that are in the form of liquids, liquid capsules, gel capsules, or pediatric products labeled pursuant to federal regulation primarily intended for administration to children under 12 years of age according to label instruction, except as to those specific products for which the Commission issues an order pursuant to G.S. 90-113.58 subjecting the product to requirements under this Article. (2005-434, s. 1; 2006-186, s. 3; 2012-194, s. 60.5.)

 

90-113.55. Training of employees.

A retailer shall require that employees of the establishment involved in the sale of pseudoephedrine products in the form of tablets or caplets, and any other pseudoephedrine product for which the Commission issues an order pursuant to G.S. 90-113.58 to subject the product to requirements under this Article, be trained in a program conducted by or approved by the Commission pursuant to G.S. 90-113.59. (2005-434, s. 1.)

 

90-113.56. Penalties.

(a) If a retailer willfully and knowingly violates the provisions of G.S. 90-113.52, 90-113.52A, 90-113.53, or 90-113.54, the retailer shall be guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class I felony for a second or subsequent offense. A retailer convicted of a third offense occurring on the premises of a single establishment shall be prohibited from making pseudoephedrine products available for sale at that establishment.

(b) Any purchaser or employee who willfully and knowingly violates G.S. 90-113.52A, G.S. 90-113.52(c) or G.S. 90-113.53 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for the first offense, a Class A1 misdemeanor for a second offense, and a Class I felony for a third or subsequent offense. This subsection shall not be construed to apply to bona fide innocent purchasers.

(c) A retailer who fails to train employees in accordance with G.S. 90-113.55, adequately supervise employees in transactions involving pseudoephedrine products, or reasonably discipline employees for violations of this Article shall be fined up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the first violation, up to seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) for the second violation, and up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for a third or subsequent violation of this section. (2005-434, s. 1; 2011-240, s. 3.)

 

90-113.57. Immunity.

A retailer or an employee of the retailer who, reasonably and in good faith, reports to any law enforcement agency any alleged criminal activity related to the sale or purchase of pseudoephedrine products, or who refuses to sell a pseudoephedrine product to a person reasonably believed to be ineligible to purchase a pseudoephedrine product pursuant to this Article, is immune from civil liability for that conduct except in cases of willful misconduct. No retailer shall retaliate in any manner against any employee of the establishment for a report made in good faith to any law enforcement agency concerning alleged criminal activity related to the sale or purchase of pseudoephedrine products. (2005-434, s. 1.)

 

90-113.58. Commission authority to control pseudoephedrine products.

(a) The Commission may add or delete a specific pseudoephedrine product from requirements of this Article on the petition of any interested party, or its own motion. In addition, the Commission may modify the specific storage, security, transaction limit, and record-keeping requirements applicable to a particular product upon such terms and conditions as they deem appropriate. In every case, the Commission shall give notice of and hold a public hearing pursuant to Chapter 150B of the General Statutes prior to adding or deleting a product. A petition by the Commission or the North Carolina Department of Justice to add or delete a specific product from requirements of this Article shall be placed on the agenda for consideration at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission, as a matter of right. In making a determination regarding a specific product, the Commission shall consider whether or not there is substantial evidence that the specific product would be used to manufacture methamphetamine in the State.

(b) In making a determination, the Commission shall make findings with respect thereto and shall issue an order adding or deleting the specific product from requirements of this Article. The order shall be published in the North Carolina Register at least 60 days prior to the time that the addition or deletion of a specific product from the requirements of this Article becomes effective.

(c) The Commission may adopt temporary and permanent rules in accordance with this section. (2005-434, s. 1.)

 

90-113.59. Commission development of employee training programs.

The Commission shall develop training and education programs targeted for employees of establishments where pseudoephedrine products are available for sale and shall approve such programs for implementation by retailers. The Commission may also conduct employee training programs for retail establishments. The Commission may adopt temporary and permanent rules in this regard. (2005-434, s. 1.)

 

90-113.60. Preemption.

This Article shall preempt all local ordinances or regulations governing the sale by a retailer of over-the-counter products containing pseudoephedrine. (2005-434, s. 1.)

 

90-113.61. Regulation of pseudoephedrine products in the form of liquids, liquid capsules, gel capsules, and pediatric products.

Except as to those specific products for which the Commission issues an order pursuant to G.S. 90-113.58 subjecting the product to requirements under this Article, any pseudoephedrine products that are in the form of liquids, liquid capsules, gel capsules, or pediatric products labeled pursuant to federal regulation primarily intended for administration to children under 12 years of age according to label instruction shall not be subject to requirements under this Article, but such products shall be subject to the requirements of the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005, Title VII of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005, P.L. 109-177. (2006-186, s. 4.)

 

90-113.62: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

90-113.63: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

90-113.64. SBI annual report.

Beginning with the 2011 calendar year, the State Bureau of Investigation shall determine the number of methamphetamine laboratories discovered in the State each calendar year and report its findings to the Legislative Commission on Methamphetamine Abuse by March 1, 2012, for the 2011 calendar year and each March 1 thereafter for the preceding calendar year. The State Bureau of Investigation shall participate in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, assist in coordinating the drug control efforts between local and State law enforcement agencies, and monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the electronic record-keeping requirements included in G.S. 90-113.52A and G.S. 90-113.56. The SBI shall include its findings in the report to the Commission required by this section. (2011-240, s. 4.)

 

90-113.65: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

90-113.66: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

90-113.67: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

90-113.68: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

90-113.69: Reserved for future codification purposes.