Hemp and the Farm Bill

— Written By Keith Wood
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Since hemp was included in the new farm bill, Extension Deputy Director Tom Melton sent out an information notice about growing hemp in NC:

Based on some misinformation and assumptions, and because of the questions we have received recently, I want to clarify a few points regarding the Farm Bill and hemp.
First and most importantly, growers still need to be licensed in 2019 and program rules for NC still stand until notified otherwise. Yes, 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. It won’t 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 screen for certain criminal histories and to know where the hemp will be grown, so the hemp can be accessed for THC sampling. THC testing is still required under the farm bill.
Because hemp is no longer a schedule 1 drug at the time of farm bill implementation, the interstate transportation restrictions should be negated for hemp. So commercial shipping should be allowed. This change also allows you to transport it like any other crop, including sending it to the Plant Disease Insect Clinic (PDIC). The PDIC can handle it as other crops. I recommend that a copy of a license and the transportation forms still be included for shipping or transporting by Extension personnel whenever you are not 100% sure it is hemp with 0.3% or less THC. Remember that law enforcement may not be up to date on the farm bill and anything over .3% THC is marijuana.
Forbes printed a good article on Hemp uses.