Publisher: North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Customer Services : Published 12/12/18
For centuries, industrial hemp (plant species Cannabis sativa) has been a source of fiber and oilseed used worldwide to produce a variety of industrial and consumer products. Currently, more than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, which is sold on the world market. In the United States, however, production is strictly controlled under existing drug enforcement laws. Currently there is no large-scale commercial production in the United States and the U.S. market depends on imports.
The 113th Congress made significant changes to U.S. policies regarding industrial hemp during the omnibus farm bill debate. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79) provided that certain research institutions and state departments of agriculture may grow industrial hemp, as part of an agricultural pilot program, if allowed under state laws where the institution or state department of agriculture is located. The FY2015 appropriations (P.L. 113-235) further blocked federal law enforcement authorities from interfering with state agencies, growers, and agricultural research. (From “Hemp as an agricultural commodity,” Congressional Research Service)
Hemp production has been legalized in North Carolina, but only as part of the state’s pilot program as allowed under federal law. As such, it will still be awhile before the first fields are planted. The N.C. General Assembly passed Senate Bill 313 in 2015, allowing the Industrial Hemp Commission to develop the rules and licensing structure necessary to stay within federal laws. The law was modified in 2016 in House Bill 992. The Industrial Hemp Commission adopted temporary rules for review in February 2017. The Rules Review Commission of the Office of Admin
The final text of the 2018 Farm Bill was released yesterday, and industrial hemp legalization made the cut. It also de-schedules CBD oil and puts it in the realm of the FDA. (yay!) Votes to send the legislation to President Trump’s desk are expected this week. The bipartisan provision, championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), will enable U.S. farmers to cultivate, process, and sell hemp. If the bill passes and President Trump signs it, hemp legalization will go into effect on January 1, according to VoteHemp. istrative Hearings voted to approve these rules Feb. 16.