The Governor of North Carolina Has Signed Legislation to Make Hemp Permanently Legal in the State.


Photo: NC.gov

By Hunter Dublin | 13, 2022


Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) signed legislation to make the state's hemp program permanent, just one day before the pilot program was supposed to expire. If lawmakers had not passed a bill by June 30, the pilot program would have expired on July 1, thereby recriminalizing hemp cultivation and sales in the state.

Cooper's measure permanently exempts hemp from the state's restricted drugs statute. In 2015, the hemp initiative was approved as a pilot program. Since then, the state has approved over 1,500 farmers to cultivate hemp. The United States is now in charge of North Carolina's hemp program. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the federal 2018 Farm Bill.

According to Blaker Butler, executive director of the Southeast Hemp Association, the bill could open up new opportunities for the hemp industry. Several southeast states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, are "starting to reimagine the textile belt" as the hemp industry gains traction.

Butler told WFMY, "I'd want to see a three-year contract where a farmer could legitimately develop a field of fiber and ship it out for processing before sowing the next seed. I'd want to see us build that agricultural supply chain as we have with sweet potatoes, tobacco, and other commodities. The objective is to start diversifying and be very cautious to guarantee that there is enough money to reward the farmer."


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