North Carolina Hemp Victory With Permanent Legal Status in Late Legislative Action
North Carolinians breathe a collective sigh of relief this week, thanks to a last minute Senate vote that permanently removed hemp from the state's list of controlled substances. The Senate voted 41-2 in favor of S.B. 455, Conform Hemp with Federal Law. A separate bill, S.B. 762, caused tense moments for retailers and growers concerned their budding businesses could be impacted if a hemp provision was kept in the bill.
6:30.22 Update: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed the hemp bill into law and it's official.
Many farmers and retailers spoke out about the proposed legislation due to concerns about potential liabilities and costly equipment changes. They stressed the irresponsible nature of the delays in legislation could cause harm to their businesses and the general public.
Hemp was legalized in the state in 2015 through a pilot program. There are currently over 1,500 hemp producers in North Carolina, according to NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services estimates.
The new legislation aligns state and federal law to ensure its legality permanently.