in North Carolina
Suddenly since 2019, North Carolina seems to talk only about CBD and cannabidiol. This sudden interest in CBD oil has come across due to several recent updates to federal as well as North Carolina Laws that seem to have finally opened up this new market. Though more clarifications and regulations are required to make it simpler for everyone to understand the legal language.
Is CBD oil Legal
in North Carolina?
Yes, CBD Oil is Legal in North Carolina, if the CBD Oil contains 5% Cannabidiols and up to 0.9% THC.
However, it is rather difficult for everyday people to get a complete clarification as the state has multiple contradictory statements in this regard.
The laws, in fact allow it at one place but then go back on their word through in another legal document. This see-saw of approvals and denials makes it very difficult to provide a clear cut answer on the legality of CBD oil in North Carolina. However, some proposed modifications are on their way which should further simplify the legalities for everyone.
What's Legal, What's Not!
Not just CBD for general public usage but even the medicinal use of CBD oil or of any extract from medical marijuana is not clear. Technically speaking, medical marijuana is legal and patients if have been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy can use it as medicated extracts as per House Bill 1220 in 2014.
This extract with has to be CBD oil is not clearly defined in the legal documents but it should contain at least 5% cannabidiol and less than 0.9% THC, which makes it a very tough process to maintain but not unachievable.
From a business point of view, it will only make the product costlier as more exact methods will have to be followed by the manufacturer to maintain these standards. But that is only one part of the story! The next part is even better. These provisions do not allow cannabis oil to be produced or to be distributed within the state. Please draw your own conclusions here as I am still in the process of drawing up my jaw from the floor.
Now, to qualify as a patient, one needs to be under the care of a state approved neurologist and the patient must have tried at least three or more treatment options that have failed. There are only four such places in North Carolina who have state approved neurologists.
This study is towards finding any conclusive evidence regarding the much discussed therapeutic properties of CBD. If the study fails to provide this conclusive evidence, the whole structure will be shut down. The DHHS maintains and allows qualified patients and caregivers to participate in this fact finding study.
And now comes the confusing part about the procurement and use of this legalised and highly strict process of manufacturing. The registered caregivers have the sole responsibility of procuring this legal low-THC hemp extract that contains no other intoxicating substance but only cannabidiol. But North Carolina has at present no state regulated supply chain or any other method to obtain this product as the DHHS forbids the cultivation of cannabis or production of hemp oil extract for all purposes within North Carolina.
HB 1220 does not have any possession limits or consumption rules for patients. Caregivers are supposed to purchase this from another state that offers reciprocity against the registration of the caregiver. However, carrying any cannabis product or any of its extracts is a legal offence over state lines as per federal rules. The state also has currently no lab testing requirements to check the quality of the extract being procured.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalises the cultivation of hemp and has removed it from the Schedule I controlled substances, it is still regulated at the Federal level. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulated all cannabis products whether hemp or not and it remains under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if they are marketed with a claim of therapeutic benefits.
The FDA has consistently resisted the addition of CBD to food products as illegal dietary supplements. All states on an individual and state level are supposed to create their own legal processes and documents to make CBD available in their states.
Hemp production was legalised in North Carolina as a pilot program as allowed under federal law with Senate Bill 313 in 2015. This bill allows the Industrial Hemp Commission to make further rules and a licensing structure to stay and operate within federal laws. This bill was modified in 2016 with House Bill 992 and further modified in 2017.
The law stipulates that industrial hemp may be grown by licensed growers who have to list in the application one or more specific research purposes for the proposed growth of this crop. In reality, this is not much of a problem as there are eleven purposes that broadly cover scientific, economic, investment related and environmental research.
However there is a strict fine of $2,500 and other criminal penalties if the grower is found disguising marijuana under this license due to its proximity to hemp. Recreational marijuana is completely illegal in North Carolina and growers have to maintain the concentration of THC in their hemp production. Though without any laboratories in the state designed to test this concentration, it is more of a legal loophole.
On 8th of Feb 2019, The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that it is taking the same route as the FDA to identify which CBD products are legal to sell.
They have already started sending out letters to manufacturers and retailers that specifies that although CBD oil is legal as per earlier statutes and legislations, it is not permitted when added to foods and alcoholic or non alcoholic beverages or selling it as supplements with unregulated health claims. The congress legalised hemp via the Farm Bill but FDA does not allow its use in food or beverages.
Where to buy CBD oil
in North Carolina
Despite the topsy-turvy statements from state and federal regulators, interest in CBD is growing as it is a booming market which is only waiting for these regulations to ease a bit. Many stores are continuing to hold their stores of CBD oil but at present not legally adding them to any foods or beverages. Some of these stores are:
- Get Me Some Green CBD & Light Therapy, 3519 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd, Matthews, NC 28105, USA
- Mitty's Cannabis Cafe, 216 Iverson Way Suite B2, Charlotte, NC 28203, USA
- The Hemp Store, 1000 Old Milburnie Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604, USA
- The Hemp Farmacy, 123 Person St, Fayetteville, NC 28301, USA
- Your CBD Store - Morganton, NC, 302 Burkemont Ave, Morganton, NC 28655, USA
Horrors of Buying CBD locally
The only horror is the way the legal machinery is functioning in the state of North Carolina by giving with one hand and taking it away with the other. Until better laws and more comprehensive legal processes are devised, any cultivator, processor, producer, manufacturer as well as any retails stores, etc. and of course the users are all at a huge risk. The law may look the other way or not as per their whims and fancies as it looks through the legal lens at present.
The law also interpret interstate commerce extremely broadly and again there can be many interpretations. FDA jurisdiction applies to interstate commerce and any product that contains ingredients or materials from out of the state is classified under it. It also applies to products that are sold in the state and have only a potential to leave the state.
To add CBD oil to any food or beverage the approved formulas containing hemp ingredients have to be approved by the FDA first.
Till date without proper legislation in place, many local shops were selling all sorts of cannabidiol. There was no proper checking in place to see if the product actually has less than 0.3% THC as advertised on their label or not. But most local stores have no idea about the validity of the sources and if sourced from out of the state then it can be read as illegal and buying from such places is unsafe.
How to get CBD Oil Online
in North Carolina
Buying online is faster, convenient and much easier you will think than going around the shops and stores in the area looking for a suitable product. But keep in mind to check not just the credentials of the company offering the product but also check their precise method of extraction. The CO2 extraction method usually removes all impurities from the product making it legal in the state of North Carolina. Customer feedbacks and reviews will also provide a much better knowledge about the quality of the product. You can also get good deals online while sitting at home and getting someone to deliver the product to you.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in North Carolina
The market for CBD in North Carolina is huge with a lot of interest from growers, sellers and buyers. Anyone who moves first and acquires key assets will be at an advantage in terms of market capture, intellectual property as well as real estate. Despite this obvious economic boom to the state, strategic planning is still under process and an analysis of the law is most urgent to ensure that distribution channels, business models and other pharnaphelia to run a business successfully is under full protection of the law. Any of the business houses or entrepreneurs in this area shall have to keep themselves flexible to adapt these shifting regulations in the months and years to come.