CBD Legal FAQ: What Are North Carolina’s Hemp Laws, Exactly?

CBD Legal FAQ: What Are North Carolina’s Hemp Laws, Exactly?

These days, you can find CBD shops now in every city and town in North Carolina. You’ll also find CBD products in major retailers like Walmart and Circle K. Given that the laws around CBD and hemp extracts are confusing and often changing, you might have some questions about its legality.

Here are a few of the most frequently-asked questions about CBD laws in North Carolina and the best answers we could provide as of October, 2020.

Q: Is CBD legal in North Carolina?

Yes. As long as CBD meets the standard for industrial hemp, it is legal to buy, sell, and possess. The NC General Assembly codified the legality of CBD products in the 2019 farm bill.

CBD is legal in North Carolina.
Image courtesy of Rick Proctor on Unsplash.

Q: What’s the difference between legal CBD and illegal marijuana?

A: The state of North Carolina defines hemp, i.e. not marijuana, as “all parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa (L.), cultivated or possessed by a grower licensed by the Commission, whether growing or not, that contain a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.”

Anything with more than 0.3% delta-9 THC would be considered illegal marijuana in the state of North Carolina.

Q: Can I sell CBD in North Carolina?

A: Yes you can and so can anyone else. There are no laws in North Carolina that establish a permit system or dictates who may sell CBD products. For now, anyway.

Image courtesy of Add Weed on Unsplash.

The FDA has indicated that it intends to start regulating CBD in the United States. Earlier this year, it released a preliminary report to Congress broader conclusions about regulating CBD in various industries.

Expect regulations to change in the near future.

Q: How much CBD can I possess in North Carolina?

As much as you want. Hemp, CBD extract, and all CBD products are completely legal in North Carolina, as long as they meet federal standards for industrial hemp.

Q: Can I grow my own CBD in North Carolina?

No. At least, not without a license and a whole lot of red tape.

However, anyone can apply for a license to grow hemp in North Carolina through the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. Potential farmers can apply to the program through the Department of Agriculture’s website.

In order to qualify, applicants “will have to pay an annual fee, must provide evidence of having income from a farming operation, must provide a written statement of the research objective, and must provide access to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Plant Industry Division and law enforcement for sampling in the field or in storage.”

You must have a license for it to be legal to grow CBD in North Carolina.
Image courtesy of Next Green Wave on Unsplash.

Q: Who regulates the CBD market in North Carolina?

The NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates food and food products in the state. However, there are currently no specific regulatory laws about CBD or hemp oil in North Carolina with one important exception. CBD food items cannot be sold in the state until the FDA releases regulations for approval.

Q: In what forms is CBD legal in North Carolina?

CBD is legal in all forms in North Carolina. However, that looked like it could change as state lawmakers considered new laws that would ban smokeable hemp flower. Then, this June, the General Assembly sent the 2020 farm bill to Governor Roy Cooper with no new laws about CBD, keeping smokeable hemp legal until at least 2021.

Did you know that scientists are studying CBD to see if it can help treat COVID-19 symptoms? Looking for an upscale “seed-to-bottle” CBD brand from right here in NC? Stay tuned to our website for more information and updates about the North Carolina cannabis industry.

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