UPDATE: Legislation to Permanently Remove Hemp From Controlled Substances List in North Carolina Heads to Governor's Desk
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UPDATE: Legislation to Permanently Remove Hemp From Controlled Substances List in North Carolina Heads to Governor's Desk

If the measure does not pass before the state's pilot program expires June 30, hemp will be outlawed in North Carolina.

June 30, 2022

North Carolina hemp farmers and businesses wait in limbo for Gov. Ray Cooper's signature on legislation that would that would permanently remove hemp from the state controlled substances list. 

On June 29, North Carolina's Republican House and Senate chambers reached a last-minute agreement on the Farm Act, sending it to Gov. Ray Cooper's desk for approval, AXIOS reported.

The measure would define "hemp as cannabis having less than 0.3% of delta-9," the cannabinoid that distinguishes hemp from its federally illegal counterpart, cannabis, WRAL reported.

The state's pilot program—which temporarily removes hemp from the state controlled substances list—is set to expire tonight, June 30, at midnight. If Cooper does not sign the Farm Act into law before the pilot program expires, hemp will be outlawed in North Carolina.

During a May 24 meeting, Bill Sponsor Brent Jackson (R) told the Senate agriculture committee that retailers would be illegally selling hemp products if the current law were to expire before the Farm Act passes. Farmers would also be growing the crop illegally, the news outlet reported. 

"In practical terms, we will maintain the status quo that we currently enjoy today and our growers and retailers have today," he said during the committee meeting regarding why the state should pass the measure.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 12:40 PM May 25 and was updated at 10:30 AM June 1 to reflect the Senate passing the legislation. The article was updated again on June 30 at 2:15 PM to reflect the most recent passing of the bill.