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Hemp in North Carolina

hemp oil, flour and seeds

North Carolina farmers have been cultivating industrial hemp since 2017. The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program was initiated by the passing of the federal Agricultural Act of 2014 and subsequent NC legislation via SL 2015-299 2015- (Industrial Hemp Bill).

Since that time, the pilot program has grown and the federal government passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 which removed industrial hemp from the controlled substances act , making hemp a legal agricultural commodity under the general oversight of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, that legislation charged the USDA with creating a uniform set of rules by which all hemp production would be regulated nationally. For North Carolina, that means hemp production will be under the direct oversight of USDA.

Beginning January 1st, 2022 the governance of hemp cultivation in North Carolina will be regulated by the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS). The name of this nationwide program is the Domestic Hemp Production Program (DHPP).

Anyone in the state of North Carolina wishing to obtain a hemp license needs to contact USDA for more information. Links and contact information for USDA-AMS’s DHPP can be found in the Press Release below.

If you are in search of historical information regarding the NC Industrial Hemp Pilot Program please navigate to the NC Pilot Program page.

Press Release 08-16-21

North Carolina farmers interested in growing hemp in 2022 will begin getting their licenses from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as North Carolina wraps up its pilot program in conjunction with federal rules going into effect this year. Letters were sent to the 1,500 licensed hemp producers in the state notifying them of the change.

“We will be working with licensed growers as this transition takes place,” said Phil Wilson, director of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Plant Industry Division, which has overseen licensing, inspection and regulation under the pilot program. “We will extend the licenses of growers who will need to renew between Sept. 1 and Jan. 1, 2022 to ensure there is no lapse in them having a valid license. Growers wanting to continue production can go ahead and begin the application process now through USDA’s online hemp application.”

The federal Farm Bill of 2018 established the regulatory framework for a U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program managed by USDA, which North Carolina will fall under beginning Jan. 1, 2022. Information on the program, including requirements and the application can be found at

Hemp growers can also contact USDA at or by calling 202-720-2491.

Notice to Hemp Industry


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