Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical substance found naturally in hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike THC, another chemical ingredient found in those plants, CBD has no psychoactive effect. The fundamental difference between marijuana and hemp is the amount of CBD and THC in the plants; if a plant has more than 0.3 percent THC, it is considered a marijuana plant.
While CBD does not produce psychoactive effects in the same way as THC does, it also does not carry the same danger of dependence or abuse. CBD is thought to have therapeutic benefits on various ailments and related symptoms, including neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, neuropsychiatric illness, and chronic pain. CBD is gaining popularity and was recently certified for specific medicinal use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).
While federal law prohibits the growth, sale, and use of marijuana, many states and territories have legalized the drug for recreational and medical purposes. The United States enacted the Hemp Farming Act in December 2018, categorizing hemp as an agricultural commodity and declassifying it as a Schedule I controlled drug. CBD-derived products made from industrial hemp are now available in a range of formulations in all 50 states.
CBD is available in tincture, oil, vape liquid, and tablet form. The Hemp Farming Act does not apply to marijuana-derived products and formulations, which the US government continues to categorize as a Schedule I controlled drug. The 2018 Farm Bill defers final legislation on hemp or CBD to states, allowing them to implement their own hemp production, processing, and usage rules. Hence, you should familiarize yourself with the CBD legislation in your state prior to having or using CBD products inside the jurisdiction.
Yes, purchasing CBD oil in North Carolina is permitted, as long as the CBD includes below 0.3 percent THC. Also, North Carolina authorizes the sale of hemp extracts with less than 0.9 percent THC and at least 5% CBD by weight. However, such sale is only allowed if the buyer is registered with the state as a patient with intractable epilepsy or as a caregiver for a patient with intractable epilepsy.
Currently, three main laws govern CBD and hemp-derived products in North Carolina. To begin, the state established a pilot study for epilepsy alternative therapy in 2014 via House Bill 1220. This law legalized the use of hemp extracts to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children. To be qualified to use marijuana extract, a child must be diagnosed by a state-recognized neurosurgeon with a qualifying kind of epilepsy. The oil legislation enables them to use less than 0.9 percent THC and a minimum of 5% CBD.
Initially, regulations required sick children to participate in pilot studies in order to qualify for the use of CBD extracts, but this restriction was removed by HB 766 in 2015. HB 766 permitted participants in this program who received higher-THC CBD to continue using it in their alternative therapies.
In 2018, the federal Act - The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), legalized hemp by excluding the plant and its derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act's (CSA) classification of marijuana and establishing a comprehensive framework for hemp farming. The 2018 Farm Bill vests the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with federal regulatory authority over hemp farming. States, in turn, may exercise primary regulatory responsibility over crops cultivated inside their boundaries by submitting a plan to the USDA.
In response to the 2018 Farm Bill, North Carolina legalized hemp cultivation, but only as part of a pilot program. Senate Bill 313 was approved by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2015, authorizing the Industrial Hemp Commission to draft the regulations and licensing structure required to comply with federal law. House Bill 992, introduced in 2016, amended the legislation. In February 2017, the Industrial Hemp Commission proposed provisional regulations for review, which were authorized by the Office of Administrative Hearings' Rules Review Commission.
In North Carolina, no specific license or permit is required to sell CBD. There are also no specifications in the law pertaining to who may sell CBD products. However, all applicable local and federal laws still apply, such as relevant local ordinances, zoning regulations, and the rule that THC must not be higher than 0.3%.
In North Carolina, there are no possession limits on CBD products or on medical patients with epilepsy who have registered with the state. Medical hemp extracts must have a THC content of less than 0.9 percent and a CBD content of at least 5 percent by weight.
North Carolina doctors are not allowed to prescribe CBD oil. They are, however, authorized to prescribe the FDA-approved medicine Epidiolex, which is effectively pure CBD, for the treatment of some forms of pediatric epilepsy. Doctors in North Carolina may also recommend hemp CBD oil to their patients if they believe it would help alleviate their symptoms. While Epidiolex may be covered by insurance, CBD oil is not.
Persons looking to obtain hemp cultivation and processor licenses in North Carolina must do so under the state Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. The industrial hemp program in the state is a research pilot program, with the enabling act identifying 11 potential research purposes. Applicants must select one or more research purposes to address in their applications. Addressing more than one purpose will not affect the likelihood of an application being successful. Applicants are urged to contact their local County Extension Agent to understand the research purposes further and inform them of their application for the applicable licenses.
Under the stipulated regulations, North Carolina farmers will be required to apply for a license, which will enable the holder to cultivate, harvest, and sell the crop. Licenses may be issued for one, two, or three years. The Industrial Hemp Commission will assess applications and either approve or deny them.
Applicants must pay annual fees, provide evidence of income from farming operations, provide written statements of the research objectives, and provide access to the Plant Industry Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and law enforcement for sampling in the field or storage.
Before being granted a license under the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Program, both cultivator and processor license applicants must provide GPS coordinates of their facilities, while cultivator license applicants must agree to:
Hemp grower license applicants will also be required to provide planting information such as:
Applicants must also specify which parts of the plant are intended for sale and indicate the entity that intends to purchase the marketable parts.
Prior to final licensure, approved applicants for cultivator licenses must pay a $250 initial fee, a $250 yearly fee for less than 50 acres or $500 for more than 50 acres, and a $2 per acre or $2 per 1,000 square feet of greenhouse fee. All additional payments, except the initial charge, are required yearly.
All applicants are required to disclose prior felony convictions in the past ten years, including any prior controlled substance or drug-related convictions at any time.
Note that Farmers in North Carolina interested in cultivating hemp in 2022 will begin receiving licenses from the US Department of Agriculture as the state rounds up its pilot program in connection with federal laws that go into effect this year. The federal Farm Bill of 2018 created the regulatory framework for a USDA-managed U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, which North Carolina will be subject to starting January 1, 2022. You may find more information on the program, including prerequisites and applications, on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website.
CBD products in North Carolina are expected to adhere to the FDA regulations on labeling. Per the FDA regulations, CBD products must include the following information on the label:
Although North Carolina has legalized the use of CBD oil to treat epilepsy, the state does not have a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. This constraint implies that medical marijuana patients in North Carolina must obtain their medication in a state that permits out-of-state medical marijuana cards.
CBD products produced from hemp are available in various health food stores, head shops, smoke shops, and vape shops. North Carolina is home to almost every kind of CBD now accessible. Cannabis-infused vaporizers, edibles, balms, and other products are available at retailers around the state.
Additionally, CBD oil is available online. Shopping online is perhaps the most convenient means of acquiring CBD. You have access to a vast range of items when you make an online purchase. Several retailers sell their items online.