North Carolina

North Carolina Cannabis Business Licenses

WHAT IS NORTH CAROLINA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?


North Carolina is one of a select few states that continues to perpetuate cannabis prohibition despite overwhelming scientific evidence of its medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Unfortunately, North Carolinians cannot place a ballot initiative on the November 2020 ballot, despite over 80% of constituents approving of cannabis legislation. With this type of support, and with a growing number of neighboring states reaping the benefits of cannabis taxes, it is only a matter of time before political pressure builds and the North Carolina legislature will have to take action.

WHAT ARE NORTH CAROLINA'S CANNABIS LAWS?


Cannabis of any form and quantity is strictly illegal in North Carolina. There have been no attempts at decriminalization and there was a medical-focused house bill, H 401, that received little support and didn’t even make it to a vote. North Carolina enacted a CBD-focused law in 2014 for patients with intractable seizure disorders; however, it failed to provide an in-state source for cannabis extracts. North Carolina’s Senate approved S 168 in 2019, which would have expanded the CBD-focused law to include autism, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, mitochondrial disease, and other critical conditions. It still would not have provided in-state access but was completely revised to no longer apply to CBD and was thus vetoed over an unintended consequence.

WHAT IS NORTH CAROLINA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?


There is no upcoming application period and any future timeline is unknown.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN NORTH CAROLINA?


North Carolina reduced the penalty for possession of small amounts of cannabis in 1977, but still labels those convicted as misdemeanor criminals rather than imposing a civil fine. There have been multiple subsequent attempts at further decriminalization in the 2010s, which has yet to make any serious advancement in the State house or senate. Despite overwhelming support from North Carolina voters, the state legislature has not shown any interest in making cannabis legalization a priority in 2020 or anytime in the near future.

DOES NORTH CAROLINA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?


Hemp cultivation, processing, and retail sales of CBD products is legal in North Carolina as part of the State’s pilot program. North Carolina’s General Assembly passed S 313 in 2015, allowing the Industrial Hemp Commission to develop the rules and licensing structure necessary to stay within federal laws. The law has since been modified to be more accessible to North Carolina farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers.

ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA CANNABIS MARKET?


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