Growing Hemp in North Carolina?

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On October 31, 2015 Senate Bill 313 was signed into law. This bill allows hemp to be grown legally in North Carolina . . . but don’t start planting just yet. There is more to this story.

Recent federal legislation allows states to pass their own legislation, such as SB 313, to produce industrial hemp. However, this production is only in coordination with institutions of higher education or the state department of agriculture. So this bill allows for research and demonstration of industrial hemp production.

A commission will direct the industrial hemp research in North Carolina. However, the commission has not yet been formed/appointed. Once the commission is formed, it must first raise $200,000 from “sources other than State funds” and review existing laws and study other state pilot programs to see what issues have developed.

After all of this occurs, the commission can develop proposed rules for consideration and adoption by the State Board of Agriculture. It is at this point that growers would be able to make application to grow hemp.

So, it is not yet legal to grow industrial hemp in NC. Once it is, there will be a permitting process for growers. To read SB 313, visit (www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2015/Bills/Senate/HTML/S313v5.html).