NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission (NCIHC) held its first official meeting on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, marking a significant milestone for N.C.’s industrial hemp industry. The meeting, held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, sought “to establish an agricultural pilot program for the cultivation of industrial hemp in the State.” The 9-member Commission is tasked with establishing the rules and regulations for the state’s agricultural program to grow or cultivate industrial hemp, pursuing permits or waivers from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency or any other federal agency as necessary, issuing licenses in order to cultivate industrial hemp for commercial purposes (to the extent allowed by federal law), laying out an administrative support system for the process of submitting applications and other tasks.
Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. said, “Yesterday was a historic moment for North Carolina. We had the pleasure of attending NCIHC’s first meeting to take a comprehensive look of how the newly operative Commission will begin to establish its rules and regulations. I’ve gone to numerous meetings similar to this, all over America, over the past 8 years and I’ve never experienced such a huge turnout. I expected to see maybe, at max, 20 or 30 people. To my surprise, this first meeting attracted nearly 200 or more people and at least 60 people signed up to make a public statement. Everyone showed so much enthusiasm and were looking forward to the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission to make North Carolina one of the leaders in industrial hemp production. In fact, the head of the Commission said the idea is to make North Carolina the leading hemp growing state in the nation. I believe North Carolina is poised to be the leading hemp growing state in North America.”
According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the 9-member Commission consists of: Sandy Stewart, Vice Chair (Commissioner’s designee); Pat Short (Ag appointed); Fen Rascoe (Ag appointed); Billy McLawhorn (Ag appointed); Guy Carpenter (Ag appointed); Chief Tony Godwin, Town of Cary (Senate); Sheriff Sam Page, Rockingham County (House appointed); Prof. Tom Melton, NCSU (Governor appointed); and, Dr. Guochen Yang, NC A&T State University (Governor appointed). The 3 – 4-hour public meeting convened local farmers, agriculturists, and other industry related professionals.