North Carolina Passes Last Minute Hemp Law
Hemp industry participants in North Carolina (NC) and throughout the US have been anxious for several months about the automatic expiration of the state’s hemp laws set to occur on July 1, 2022. We have fielded numerous calls, advised our clients about how to proceed if the expiration occurs without a replacement hemp law, and worked closely with clients and industry advocates to address this issue.
The future of hemp in NC has been far from certain. Hemp has been a divisive issue in the NC legislature in the past. Additionally, the NC General Assembly (NCGA) has been committed to a short session which will prevent it from enacting many bills. Also, a controversial medical marijuana bill is being considered which is not favorable to the local hemp industry. (It is unlikely that the MJ bill will be passed this session.) For these reasons, no one was sure if we would see hemp legislation to replace the expiring laws.
Fortunately, the NCGA passed hemp legislation this afternoon, one day before the existing laws will expire. Senate Bill 455 (SB455), which tracks the 2018 Federal Farm Bill’s definition of hemp, was enacted. We expect that it will be signed by Governor Cooper shortly.
Thank you to all of the hemp industry participants who worked hard on this issue. Thanks also to the NCGA representatives who championed and eventually passed this important and vital legislation. Senator Jackson delivered a passionate “walk down memory lane” speech to the Senate in support of SB455, which no doubt helped to push it across the finish line. Ronan Kennedy of NC-based cbdMD also played a big role.
June 29, 2022
Rod Kight is an international hemp lawyer. He represents businesses throughout the hemp industry. Additionally, Rod speaks at cannabis conferences, drafts and presents legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on hemp matters in the media, and is the editor of the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, which discusses legal issues affecting the hemp industry. You can contact him by clicking here.