US (NC): All hemp growers must now be licensed through USDA

As of January 1, 2022 all hemp growers in North Carolina must be licensed through the USDA National Hemp Program. The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which was overseen by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services under the direction of NC Industrial Hemp Commission ended on December 31, 2021. If you have a NC Industrial Hemp Commission issued hemp growers license, it is no longer valid, even if it was not due to expire yet.

Many NC hemp growers who applied to the USDA hemp program last year after they learned that the NC program was ending, received their licenses this week.

The requirements for the USDA hemp production license are a little different than they were for the NC hemp license, including the need for a FBI Identity History Summary (criminal background check) and fingerprinting. In addition, growers will have to select and pay for a USDA certified sampling agent to collect their compliance samples. Growers will also select the lab for those samples to be sent to and pay for the lab testing. There is, however, no fee for the license itself. The grower must also register with their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and report their acreage each year.

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