In 2017, North Carolina joined the plethora of states that allowed the sale of hemp. Hemp, commonly mistaken for marijuana, is an herb that is used to make paper, clothing, textiles and many more items used in daily life. CBD is derived from hemp and is used in lotions and gummies as a way to help ease the human body. The hemp industry in North Carolina is one that is currently managed and controlled by the state government, but that is to change on June 30, 2022 when the pilot program ends.
Beginning on July 1, the United States Department of Agriculture will be overseeing the licenses and growth of hemp in North Carolina. While this doesn’t change much for the buyer, it is going to make it more difficult for local farmers to continue their farming operations. There will be new regulations set in place for farmers and new licenses to apply for. There may be a decrease in products in local stores for the first few months of this change.
The current problem for farmers and manufacturers is that hemp and CBD aren’t listed as legal controlled substances, making them illegal on July 1 unless “The North Carolina Farm Act of 2022” passes the NC House. This has caused tension since the end of the pilot program. The Farm Act passed in the Senate unanimously and is expected to pass through the House by the end of the month, protecting hemp farmers.
Alongside this conversation are two bills that have been presented to the North Carolina government. One bill, the NC Compassionate Care Act, would legalize medical marijuana and the other, Senate Bill 448, would allow North Carolina to legalize marijuana as soon as it is legal across the nation. The latter is awaiting Governor Roy Cooper’s signature.
Written by Anna Prince, Staff Writer