Thousands and thousands of hemp-based products are sold in North Carolina each year. Hemp-related products sold in North Carolina must contain less than 0.3 percent of Delta 9 THC.
Hemp products have been legal in North Carolina since 2015 when the state passed the hemp pilot program bill, which offers an exemption.
Erik Stahl, Modern Apotheca in Raleigh, stated "The hemp exemption removes the term hemp from the definition of marijuana under the state’s controlled substance act. The state also licensed hemp farmers, allowing it to control and test the kind of hemp they grew."
Back in January, the state’s hemp farming laws expired, turning over THC testing and other responsibilities from the North Carolina Agriculture Department to the federal USDA.
“Our concern is, who are they going to sell their product to starting July 1?” Stahl further stated. “Essentially, on June 30, hemp goes back to being defined as marijuana. The large number of people using hemp products, the vast majority of them, would not qualify for medical marijuana."
The General Assembly is slated to return May 18 to decide if it wants to extend the hemp exemptions.
Status of Hemp and CBD Products After July 1 Is Unknown
North Carolina's hemp farming laws expire on June 30, and some fear that hemp will become illegal in North Carolina.
The federal law states cannabis sativa is considered legal hemp as long as it doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent THC by dry volume. This exemption has led to the development of a wide variety of hemp-based products sold by specialty stores, markets, and even pet stores.
The question is will the General Assembly extend the hemp exemption when it returns in May. Legislative has not indicated when they might take action on this issue. But in the past, the exemption itself has not been controversial. The debate has been centered on the types of products that should be allowed, such as smokable hemp flower. Law enforcement groups have historically lobbied against smokable hemp but have largely stayed out of the general debate on hemp farming in North Carolina.