Industrial Hemp and the Farm Bill

— Written By and last updated by


January 24, 2019

Charles Mitchell | 919-496-3344,

Director, N.C. Cooperative Extension of Franklin County

Industrial Hemp and the Farm Bill

Growers still need to be licensed in 2019 and program rules for N.C. still stand until notified otherwise. Applicants still have to be farmers to get a license. The Farm Bill transfers regulatory oversight of hemp from DEA to USDA. Now USDA has to set up a program and rules. States will have to submit their proposed program rules to the USDA to get approved to operate a hemp program under USDA. This will not be a pilot program or a research program once the new program is approved, but growers will probably still have to be licensed or registered to allow the state to do background checks and to know where the industrial hemp will be grown, so the hemp can be accessed for THC sampling. THC testing is still required under the Farm Bill.

From a 12/20/2018 FDA Press Statement: ”…it’s unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived. This is because both CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs and were the subject of substantial clinical investigations before they were marketed as foods or dietary supplements. Under the FD&C Act, it’s illegal to introduce drug ingredients like these into the food supply or to market them as dietary supplements. This is a requirement that we apply across the board to food products that contain substances that are active ingredients in any drug.” “While products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds remain subject to the FDA’s authorities and requirements, there are pathways available for those who seek to lawfully introduce these products into interstate commerce. The FDA will continue to take steps to make the pathways for the lawful marketing of these products more efficient.”

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On February 6, 2019, at 2 p.m. there will be an Industrial Hemp informational meeting held for the region at the Granville Expo Center, 4185 U.S. 15 Oxford, NC. To register for this meeting call the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Franklin County office at 919-496-3344.