RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There are thousands of hemp-based products sold in North Carolina. They range from CBD products at specialty stores to hemp products in pet stores and supermarkets.
Hemp-related products sold in North Carolina must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC, which is the ingredient that gets you high.
Hemp products have been legally available in North Carolina since 2015 when the state passed the hemp pilot program bill, which offers an exemption.
Erik Stahl, the owner Modern Apotheca in Raleigh, said the hemp exemption removes the term hemp from the definition of marijuana under the state’s controlled substance act. The state also licensed hemp farmers, allowing it to control and test the kind of hemp they grew.
Back in January, the state’s hemp farming laws expired, turning over THC testing and other responsibilities from the North Carolina Agriculture Department to the federal USDA.
“Our concern is, who are they going to sell their product to starting July 1?” Stahl said.
That’s because the state’s hemp exemption laws are set to expire June 30. If that happens, hemp will become illegal in North Carolina.
“Essentially, on June 30, hemp goes back to being defined as marijuana,” Stahl said.
Meanwhile, the state is currently considering a medical marijuana bill, but it’s narrow definition would not include hemp.
“The large number of people using hemp products, the vast majority of them, would not qualify for medical marijuana,” said Stahl.
The General Assembly is slated to return May 18, so it’ll have about a month and a half to decide if it wants to extend the hemp exemptions.