Is the Hemp and CBD Business in North Carolina About to Shut Down Overnight?

In North Carolina, the CBD and hemp industries may be coming to an end. This happens because of a number of things, including:

  1. The state eliminated the hemp exemption from the definition of cannabis as of June 30, 2022.
  2. All present hemp regulations and laws expire on June 30, 2022.
  3. The NCGA’s ( North Carolina General Assembly) inability to enact renewed laws to safeguard the state’s hemp industry.

These things could be bad for the thousands of people who work in the hemp industry and the millions of people in North Carolina who buy hemp products.


Industrial hemp was given an exception to the definition of cannabis under former NC legislation; however, after June 30, 2022, the exemption will no longer exist and all marijuana-related products would be considered unlawful, with no exceptions allowed for hemp.

As for the law:

The term “marijuana” will no longer include grown stalks of the plant, fibre from the stalks, cake, oil, or even the seed of the plant that is not capable of germination as of June 30, 2022. Instead, it will refer to any part of the Cannabis genus plant, regardless of whether it is growing or not, as well as the seeds, extracts from any part of the plant, and all salts, compounds, derivatives, preparations, or mixtures of the plant.

Additionally, the state’s hemp commission was supposed to dissolve on June 30, 2022, when all industrial hemp-related regulations in North Carolina expired. The Federal Farm Bill of 2018 established a Domestic Hemp Production Program, therefore the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program is no longer valid, according to talks conducted by the Industrial Hemp Commission on August 5, 2021.

The decision became final on June 30. As of June 30, North Carolina has no hemp laws or regulations in force, and there is no governmental body in the state that governs or regulates hemp production.


What does this all imply for the North Carolina hemp market? It goes without saying that NC hemp producers that have received a USDA permit will abide by the rules. This is the reason why NC doesn’t have a USDA-approved hemp strategy.

Hemp and hemp producers in states like North Carolina without hemp plans that have gained USDA approval will be regulated by the USDA under the hemp sections of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill).

Also read: Hemp Protein Powder Benefits, Source, Dosage And Research

The 2018 Farm Bill “establishes a federal plan for farmers in states or territories of Native American tribes where hemp cultivation is authorised and does not have its own USDA-approved plan,” the USDA website notes. Thus, NC hemp producers that possess USDA licences are allowed.

How about the rest of us? We do not yet know the answer to this question. All hemp legislation’ legislative expiry will, at the very least, prompt discussion about what products and activities are allowed in North Carolina. At the very least, it will provide law enforcement the ability to file charges against anybody involved in handling, producing, distributing, or owning hemp products.


Simple answer: We don’t know how it came to be this way. If the NCGA did not take action to amend the state’s hemp rules, I’d like to think that it just assumed that the federal government would control all hemp. There’s a chance that everything will go according to plan and NC will maintain an uneasy status quo.

In North Carolina, a contentious medicinal marijuana measure (SB711) that the GOP supports is now being discussed. Nevertheless, the majority of the state’s hemp sector is against it because there are very high entry hurdles for huge marijuana multistate operators (MSOs) and other non-corporate interest groups like Big Tobacco.

The Bill has several additional problems, but that is the topic of another essay. These problems include the utter lack of any social equality clauses, the need of vertical integration, the cap of 10 licences for the whole state, the erroneous makeup of the Advisory Board, the constrained eligibility requirements, etc.

The majority of knowledgeable participants in the NC hemp sector think that the passing of SB711 would adversely harm their businesses and customers.

SB711 seems to have had significant support from entrenched interests, including MSOs and Big Tobacco. According to sources, the NC Senate will adopt the bill somewhere around the middle of May. The Speaker of the House claims that SB711 won’t be debated in the House this year, but this may just be rhetoric. The Bill’s chronology is open to honest conjecture from anybody.

One cannot help but wonder whether the state’s choice to outlaw hemp was purposeful given that all of NC’s hemp laws will expire on June 30 and that SB711 is expected to pass the NC Senate in May and go to the House in June. In this scenario, all cannabis—both hemp and marijuana—in the state would essentially be under the control of the 10 people who now have medical marijuana licences.

After June 30th, it is evident that farmers with USDA licences may continue to grow hemp in North Carolina, but it is not yet known what will happen to hemp used for post-production, such as CBD products. The state’s hemp industry would be destroyed if they were only made available by the 10 individuals who have medicinal marijuana licences in the state.

To be clear, none of the aforementioned hypotheses concerning whether or not this specific sequence of events is intentional are true.

The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t really matter if this change of events was a coincidence or the result of fierce lobbying by MSOs and Big Tobacco. Any decision might be disastrous for the NC hemp, CBD, and cannabinoid businesses generated from hemp.


What is evident is that the North Carolina General Assembly’s inability to pass clear hemp legislation might be attributed to the eventual demise of the state’s hemp and CBD industries.

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