Just in Time: North Carolina Re-Legalizes Hemp

    June 30, 2022, 09:00 AM

    The North Carolina hemp industry is breathing a collective sigh of relief today. On Wednesday, June 29th, 2022, the NC General Assembly passed a bill permanently excluding hemp from the state Controlled Substances Act. The bill awaits Governor Cooper’s signature which is expected in short order.

    In 2018, hemp (including hemp-derived cannabinoids) was temporarily legalized as part of the NC Hemp Pilot Program and associated legislation exempting hemp as a controlled substance. However, the nonpermanent decriminalization was set to expire today, June 30th, 2022. As discussed previously, this looming deadline caused quite a stir in the hemp community as hemp producers, consumers, manufacturers, and distributors prepared to react to the prospect of re-criminalization of an entire industry.

    After some back-and-forth between the House and Senate and issues involving competing legislation, Senate Bill 455 passed with a 41-2 vote. A number of bills appear stagnant as the end of the legislative session approaches – including NC’s medical marijuana bill – so the hemp bill’s passage is welcome news to companies in the industry barring an unexpected veto by the Governor.

    The bill, in its current form, can be found here:

     Senate Bill 455