January 29, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 29


January 27, 2023

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January 26, 2023

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The End is Near for North Carolina's Hemp Pilot Program

For some time, North Carolina's hemp farmers and growers have questioned the fate of our hemp cultivation pilot program, authorized and adopted under the Agricultural Act of 2014 ("2014 Farm Bill"), and how the eventual end of that program would impact their growing efforts.  We now have answers. 

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services ("Department") and the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission ("Commission") have announced that North Carolina will soon end its hemp pilot program. 

The Department has officially notified the United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") of this intention. 

Effective January 1, 2022, all hemp production within North Carolina's borders must comply with the USDA Final Rule for Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program ("USDA Rule").  This means that anyone growing, cultivating, or harvesting hemp in North Carolina on or after January 1, 2022, must hold a USDA-issued hemp license to continue to lawfully operate.  North Carolina-issued grower licenses will no longer be valid once this shift in programs takes effect. Growers and farmers may apply to USDA for a federally issued license, effective immediately, and may begin operating in compliance with the USDA Rule upon receipt of that license.  More information on the licensing process, requirements, and qualifications can be found on the USDA's hemp production website

Does all of this sound unnecessarily confusing?  It can be.  So a word of caution: Any farmer or grower who intends to plant hemp on or after January 1, 2022, and any farmer or grower with plants already in the ground on that date, must give due consideration to these issues and ensure they timely obtain a USDA grower license. The failure to be, and remain, properly licensed for hemp production at all times could lead to potentially significant violations, fines, and charges.

We encourage anyone considering hemp cultivation – or other hemp-related commercial activities – to seek legal counsel before investing significant time and money. 

© 2023 Ward and Smith, P.A.. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 218

About this Author

Tyler Russell, Bankruptcy Attorney, Creditors Rights, Raleigh, North Carolina, Ward and Smith Law Firm
Business and Creditor's Rights Attorney

Tyler's creditors' rights practice encompasses bankruptcy, collections, and lender liability issues.  He concentrates his practice on the representation of creditors in bankruptcy cases and state court litigation, including workouts, reorganizations, Uniform Commercial Code security agreement enforcement, collections cases, and other contested matters.  Tyler has represented national and community lenders, trade creditors, equipment manufacturers, agricultural companies, community associations, contractors, and leasing companies in various reorganization and litigation proceedings. His...

Allen N. Trask III, Litigation Attorney, Ward Smith, Wilmington, North Carolina, business, civil, commercial litigation
Litigation Attorney

Allen focuses his practice on assisting those who own, manage, and invest in real estate and common interest communities.  He regularly works with real estate developers and the residential and commercial community associations that they create to handle all manner of issues, including the preparation, amendment, interpretation, and enforcement of restrictive covenants and governing corporate documents, declarant control transition and disputes, community management, insurance claims and disputes, and collections.  He also frequently represents Real Estate Investment...