NORTH CAROLINA FARM ACT OF 2019.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 315 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 20, 2019
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE AGRICULTURAL LAWS OF THE STATE.
Intro. by B. Jackson, Sanderson, Johnson.

Status: Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (Aug 22 2019)

SOG comments (1):

Long title change

Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition changed the long title. Original long title was AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE AGRICULTURAL LAWS.

Bill History:

S 315

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Aug 21 2019 - More information

    House amendments to the 9th edition make the following changes.

    Amendment #1 adds new Section 11.5 to the act. Amends GS 15A-974, concerning the exclusion or suppression of unlawfully obtained evidence. Prohibits suppression of evidence obtained as the result of a search that was supported by probable cause at the time of the search if suppression is sought solely on the basis of a subsequent determination that either (1) a substance believed to be a controlled substance at the time of the search was not a controlled substance or (2) the presence of a controlled substance at the time of the search was not a violation of law. Applies to motions to suppress filed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amendment #3 adds new Section 30 to the act. Directs the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission (AFAS Commission) to study the policy options to support the state's dairy industry. Requires the study to include examining the following available options: the reestablishment of the NC Milk Commission, the creation of a tax credit for producers, the creation of a fund to make grants or loans to improve operations' infrastructure, and the creation of a dairy promotion board or marketing program for dairies. Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to assist the AFAS Commission as requested. Requires the Commission to report to the General Assembly by May 1, 2020.

    Amendment #4 further amends GS 153A-340(b)(2a), concerning buildings or structures used for agritourism deemed a bona fide farm purpose. Modifies and adds to the provision defining agritourism to include shooting sports in a county with a population of fewer than 110,000 people. Now defines agritourism to include shooting sports on properties that are located in a county with a population of fewer than 110,000 people, comply with guidelines for design and site evaluation as established by the Wildlife Resources Commission, and comply with local zoning and development ordinances. Requires a majority vote of the county commissioners to determine whether a property used for shooting sports is in compliance with the Wildlife Resources Commission's guidelines and local zoning and development ordinances. 

    Amendment #5 modifies various directives and authorities set forth in the act as follows. Amends Section 6 to establish a deadline of December 1, 2020, by which the NC Hemp Commission must adopt permanent rules to implement Section 1 of the act, which amends Article 50E of GS Chapter 106. Additionally, modifies the proposed changes to GS 106-139 set forth in Section 12 to mandate, rather than permit, the Board of Agriculture to adopt rules to establish current good manufacturing practices in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, or holding operations for cannabinoid-related compounds derived from hemp. Similarly, establishes a deadline of November 1, 2020, by which the Board of Agriculture must adopt permanent rules to implement Section 12 of the act, regarding the regulation of cannabinoid-related compounds. 


  • Summary date: Aug 20 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 8th edition makes the following changes.

    Changes the definitions of the terms hemp products and smokable hemp set forth in GS 106-568.51, applicable to Article 50E, NC Hemp Commission. Now defines hemp products to include oils, tinctures, vapor products, and smokable hemp (previously, explicitly excluded smokable hemp from the term). Also, defines hemp products to include food intended for animal or human consumption unless prohibited by the US FDA or the US Department of Agriculture (rather than as approved by those entities). Now defines smokable hemp to mean harvested raw or dried hemp plant material, including hemp buds or hemp flowers, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes (previously defined to mean a product that does not exceed the federally defined THC level for hemp in a form that allows THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke, including hemp buds, hemp flowers, whole or ground raw hemp plant material, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes). No longer defines hemp extract

    Increases the membership of the NC Hemp Commission set forth in GS 106-568.52 from nine to eleven members. Modifies current member qualifications to include one member (rather than two) appointed by the Governor who is a full-time or Emeritus faculty member of NC State University (was, of a State land grant university) who regularly works in agricultural science or research. Adds to the member qualifications: one member appointed by the Governor who is a full-time or Emeritus faculty member of NC A&T University who regularly works in agricultural science or research; one member appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, recommended by the Office for the Small and Minority Farm Program; and one member appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture who is a full-time farmer, recommended by NC A&T University. 

    Makes a technical change to GS 106-568.53A, regarding licensure qualifications.

    Amends proposed GS 106-568.58 to no longer explicitly provide that no license is required to possess, handle, transport, or sell hemp extracts. Maintains that no license is required to possess, handle, transport or sell hemp products, as the term is now defined under Article 50E. Changes the statute's title.

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 90-87 to enact definitions for the terms hemp, hemp product, and smokable hemp, applicable to the NC Controlled Substances Act, similar to those set forth in Article 50E of GS Chapter 106, as amended, with the following exceptions. Defines hemp and hemp product by setting a specific THC level, rather than referencing a federally defined THC level, for hemp. Additionally, defines hemp product to exclude smokable hemp. Amends the definition set forth for marijuana to now include smokable hemp and exclude hemp products (previously, excluded hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts and smokable hemp, when the hemp is produced and used in compliance with Article 5, the NC Controlled Substances Act, and rules adopted by the Hemp Commission). 

    Amends the exception set forth for tetrahydrocannibinols in hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts, or smokable hemp from being included as a schedule VI controlled substance under GS 90-94, to now only except tetrahydrocannibinols in hemp or hemp products, as defined in Article 50E, GS Chapter 106.

    Changes the effective date of the proposed changes to GS 90-87 and GS 90-94, and proposed GS 90-94.5, now making those provisions effective June 1, 2020 (was, effective on the later of either December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of specified federal regulations). Additionally, eliminates the proposed sunset of those provisions on July 1, 2021 (reinstated in the previous edition).

    Effective June 1, 2020, further amends the definition of hemp product under Article 50E of GS Chapter 106 to exclude smokable hemp.

    Eliminates the immunity provisions set forth in proposed GS 90-94.5, which set forth immunity for hemp licensees possessing, manufacturing, or delivering a commodity cultivated by the licensee that exceeds the federally defined THC level unless the violation is intentional. Instead, sets forth the following. Provides immunity from the specified controlled substance offenses for hemp licensees or other individuals authorized by another state or the US Department of Agriculture to possess, manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess with intent to do the same, hemp or smokable hemp so long as the sale or delivery is made to another hemp licensee or authorized person. Provides immunity for a hemp licensee to negligently possess, manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess with intent to do the same, a commodity cultivated by the licensee that exceeds the specified THC level. Provides for a penalty for negligent violation to be determined by the Hemp Commission. Changes the effective date of the immunity provisions, now providing that the provisions apply to violations or offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019 (was, effective on the later of either December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of specified federal regulations).

    Effective December 1, 2019, enacts GS 106-568.57(d), making it a Class 2 misdemeanor to sell smokable hemp or vapor products that contain hemp to a person less than 18 years old (similar to a provision eliminated in the previous edition). Sunsets the provision on July 1, 2021. Effective May 1, 2020, amends GS 106-578.57(d), to no longer include the sale of smokable hemp in the misdemeanor offense.

    Modifies the proposed tax provisions to no longer include hemp extracts in the definition of hemp set forth in GS 105-113.106.

    Amends the proposed changes to Section 4 of SL 2015-199. Now provides that Section 2 of that act, which amends the definition of marijuana under the NC Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp, expires May 1, 2020, and the remainder of the act, which enacts Article 50E of GS Chapter 106, expires on the later of December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of specified federal regulations (previously, provided for the entire act to expire on the later of December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of specified federal regulations).

    Makes the following modifications to new Article 50F, NC Hemp Program, of GS Chapter 106, effective July 1, 2021.

    Amends the definition of handling under the new Article to include transportation of hemp plants from a licensee to a person authorized by another jurisdiction. Makes technical changes. Makes identical changes to the terms hemp product (which does not include smokable hemp) and smokable hemp as those made to Article 50E, as amended. Additionally, no longer defines hemp extract

    Amends the civil penalties set forth under the new Article, effective July 1, 2021, to no longer permit the Commissioner to assess a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product.

    Modifies the criminal penalty provisions set forth under the new Article, effective July 1, 2021, to make it a Class 2 misdemeanor to sell vapor products that contain hemp to a person less than 18 years old (identical to the provisions of Article 50E, as amended, effective May 1, 2020). No longer makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product.

    Makes identical changes to proposed GS 106-568.68 as those made to proposed GS 106-568.58 concerning the transportation of hemp products.

    Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 90-87 and GS 90-94, and proposed GS 90-94.5, effective July 1, 2021. Instead, amends GS 90-94.5, as enacted, to make conforming changes to Article 50F to refer to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Department) rather than the Hemp Commission. Makes further conforming changes.

    Makes identical changes to the proposed tax provisions set forth in GS 105-113.106, effective July 1, 2021, to no longer include hemp extracts in the definition of hemp.

    Amends the proposed definition of cannabinoid-related compounds set forth in GS 106-121 to exclude smokable hemp (previously, removed by the 8th edition). Sunsets the proposed definition on July 1, 2021, and enacts an identical definition, effective July 1, 2021, with a corrected statutory cross-reference for the definition of smokable hemp to new Article 50F. Makes conforming and technical changes.

    Eliminates the proposed civil and criminal penalties of Article 50E in proposed GS 106-568.56(a)(5) and GS 106-568.57(d), as set forth in the 5th and 8th editions, which would have been effective December 1, 2020. No longer permits the Commissioner to assess a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product. No longer makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product.

    Adds a new directive requiring the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and any other appropriate law enforcement agencies and district attorneys to study the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing a field test to distinguish between hemp and marijuana. Also requires the SBI to study conditions under which a field test that is not accurate to within a specified THC concentration by weight can be useful in establishing probable cause for a search. Directs the SBI to report to the AFAS Commission and the specified NCGA committee by January 1, 2020. Additionally, now requires the SBI to notify the AFAS Commission in writing when a field test with an analytical capability to distinguish between hemp and marijuana has been evaluated and approved by a national accreditation body (previously, when the US DEA has adopted an approved immediate testing method to determine whether hemp is within the federally defined THC level). Makes conforming changes.

    Eliminates the directive reinstated by the 8th edition regarding the Environmental Management Commission's implementation of 15A NCAC 02D .1806 (Control and prohibition of odorous emissions), as the provisions appeared in the 5th edition, which required the EMC to classify facilities that store products grown, produced, or generated on one or more agricultural operations and are renewable resources under specified state law, as agricultural operations that are exempt from the identified rule's requirements. 

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 153A-340(b)(2a) to no longer explicitly include shooting in the definition of agritourism as it relates to a building or structure being used for a bona fide farm purpose. Instead, more specifically defines agritourism under the subdivision to include shooting sports in a county with a population of fewer than 110,000. No longer requires properties being used for shooting sports to comply with specified guidelines of the Wildlife Resource Commission. 

    Reinstates the proposed changes to the sunset provision of the NC Food Innovation Lab Committee set forth in SL 2017-57, providing for a sunset of January 1, 2020, rather than January 1, 2025 (previously, eliminated by the 8th edition).

    Eliminates the directive reinstated by the 8th edition which requires the Office of the State Auditor to audit all State funds ever paid to the Resources Institute for the Initiative through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and Water Resources Development Grants for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program no later than June 1, 2020, and directing the Director and Board of Trustees of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and DEQ to seek recoupment of any identified overpayment of State funds based on the audit’s findings.

    Maintains the act's severability clause and effective date provisions. 


  • Summary date: Jul 25 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 7th edition makes the following changes.

    Changes the definition of smokable hemp set forth in GS 106-568.51, applicable to Article 50E, NC Hemp Commission. Now defines the term to mean a product that does not exceed the federally defined THC level for hemp in a form that allows THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke, including hemp buds, hemp flowers, whole or ground raw hemp plant material, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes (identical to the definition set forth in the 5th and 6th editions; previously, defined as harvested raw or dried hemp plant material, in a form intended to allow THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke, including hemp buds or hemp flowers, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes, but excluding hemp extracts).

    Eliminates the proposed member qualfiication modifications for the NC Hemp Commission set forth in GS 106-568.52 (previously, amended the qualifications to require one member from NC A&T, one member that is an historically underserved African-American small farmer, and one member recommended by the Small and Minority Farm Program). 

    Eliminates proposed subsections (g) and (h) of GS 106-568.53A, which extended the privileges of hemp cultivator or handler licenses to the spouse of licensees, and established the licenses to be transferrable. Makes conforming organizational changes.

    Modifies proposed GS 106-568.55A to prohibit the Hemp Commission from issuing a license to handle hemp to any person (rather than any person who processes hemp purchased from a cultivator) without satisfying the bonding requirements specified. No longer exempts from the bond requirements handlers who process only hemp grown by the handler.

    Eliminates proposed GS 106-578.57(d), which made it a Class 2 misdemeanor to sell hemp, hemp products, or hemp extracts to a person less than 18 years old.

    Makes technical changes to proposed GS 106-568.59, concerning the NC Hemp Program Fund.

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 90-87 to no longer enact definitions for the terms hemp, hemp extract, hemp product, and smokable hemp, applicable to the NC Controlled Substances Act. Additionally, eliminates the proposed changes to the term marijuana, which defined the term to include smokable hemp and exclude hemp, when under the control of a licensed cultivator or handler, hemp products, and hemp extracts. Instead, amends the definition set forth for marijuana to exclude hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts, and smokable hemp as defined in GS 106-568.51 (Article 50E of GS Chapter 106), when the hemp is produced and used in compliance with Article 5, the NC Controlled Substances Act, and rules adopted by the Hemp Commission (identical to the definition provided in the 5th edition). 

    Amends the exception set forth for tetrahydrocannibinols in hemp products and hemp extracts from being included as a schedule VI controlled substance, to also except tetrahydrocannibinols in hemp and smokable hemp, as defined in Article 50E, GS Chapter 106 (identical to the exceptions set forth in the 5th edition).

    Changes the effective date of the proposed changes to GS 90-87 and GS 90-94, and proposed GS 90-94.5, now making those provisions effective on the later of either December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of specified federal regulations. Additionally, reinstates the proposed sunset of those provisions on July 1, 2021 (identical to the provisions set forth in the 5th and 6th editions; previously, effective December 1, 2019, with no sunset). 

    Makes further conforming changes.

    Makes the following modifications to new Article 50F, NC Hemp Program, of GS Chapter 106, effective July 1, 2021.

    Makes identical changes to the defined term smokable hemp as those made to the defined term applicable to Article 50E (identical to the definition set forth in the 5th and 6th editions; previously, defined to mean a material, compound, mixture, or preparation that allows THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke, including whole or ground raw hemp plant material, including hemp buds, hemp flowers, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes). 

    Makes identical changes to the proposed qualifications for licensed cultivators or handlers of hemp as those made to Article 50E, deleting subsection (f) and (g), which extended the privileges of hemp cultivator or handler licenses to the spouse of licensees, and established the licenses to be transferrable. Makes conforming organizational changes. 

    Makes identical changes to the proposed bonding requirements for licensed cultivators or handlers of hemp as those made to Article 50E. Prohibits the Commissioner of Agriculture (Commissioner) from issuing a license to handle hemp to any person (rather than any person who processes hemp purchased from a cultivator) without satisfying the bonding requirements specified. No longer exempts from the bond requirements handlers who process only hemp grown by the handler.

    Adds to the civil penalties set forth under the new Article to permit the Commissioner to access a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product (identical to the civil penalty provided in the 5th and 6th editions).

    Modifies the criminal penalty provisions set for under the new Article. Eliminates the proposed Class 2 misdemeanor established for selling hemp, hemp products, or hemp extracts to a person less than 18 years old. Now, makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product (identical to the criminal penalty provided in the 5th edition).

    Makes technical changes to the provisions concerning the NC Hemp Program Fund.

    Amends GS 90-87, GS 90-94, and enacts GS 90-94.5, effective July 1, 2021, similarly to the provisions set forth in Section 2 of the act, which sunset on July 1, 2021, with the following changes. Amends GS 90-87, now defining marijuana to exclude hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts, and smokable hemp as defined in the new Article (identical to the definition set forth in the 5th edition). Makes changes to new GS 90-94.5 to refer to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) rather than the Hemp Commission, and to make statutory cross-references to the new Article.

    Makes further technical changes.

    Amends the proposed definition of cannabinoid-related compounds set forth in GS 106-121 to no longer exclude smokable hemp. Makes conforming and technical changes.

    Reinstates the proposed civil and criminal penalties of Article 50E in proposed GS 106-568.56(a)(5) and GS 106-568.57(d), as set forth in the 5th edition, identical to those added to new Article 50F. Permits the Commissioner to access a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product. Applies to offenses occurring on or after December 1, 2020.

    Reinstates the directives regarding the Environmental Management Commission's implementation of 15A NCAC 02D .1806 (Control and prohibition of odorous emissions), as the provisions appeared in the 5th edition. Requires the EMC to classify facilities that store products that are grown, produced, or generated on one or more agricultural operations and are renewable resources under specified state law, as agricultural operations that are exempt from the identified rule's requirements. 

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 153A-340 to no longer explicitly require properties used for shooting sports to comply local zoning and development ordinances. Makes conforming changes.

    Eliminates the proposed changes to the sunset provision of the NC Food Innovation Lab Committee set forth in SL 2017-57 (previously, amended to sunset January 1, 2020, rather than January 1, 2025 under existing law).

    Modifies proposed GS 139-8.2 to no longer exclude from confidentiality complaints to a soil and water conservation district resulting in a determination that a violation of the law has occurred.

    Reinstates the following provisions as they appeared in the 5th and 6th editions.

    Amends GS 143-215.71 and GS 143B-135.238 to specify that projects cannot receive grant funding from both the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

    Directs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to jointly report to the specified NCGA committee by September 30, 2019, regarding funding overlaps between water resources development grant funding and Clean Water Management Trust Fund grants for the Western Stream Initiative (Initiative) and the efforts of the Departments to improve administration of grants for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

    Directs DEQ to develop performance management procedures for projects funded as part of the Initiative, including the collection and reporting of 10 specified measures for all projects receiving grant funding. Requires the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to provide DEQ with the specified measures relevant to funding for the Initiative provided by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. 

    Amends GS 143-215.72, establishing an annual reporting requirement for DEQ regarding grants for projects funded through the Initiative (defined as the portion of the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding provided to the Western Stream Initiative for certain counties). Requires the report to be submitted to the specified NCGA committee and division by November 1, and requires the report to include measures of grant administration and grant implementation efficiency and effectiveness.

    Directs the Office of the State Auditor to audit all State funds ever paid to the Resources Institute for the Initiative through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and Water Resources Development Grants for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program no later than June 1, 2020. Directs the Director and Board of Trustees of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and DEQ to seek recoupment of any identified overpayment of State funds based on the audit’s findings.

    Maintains the act's severability clause and effective date provisions. 


  • Summary date: Jul 17 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 6th edition makes the following changes. 

    Amends the proposed definition of smokable hemp set forth in GS 106-568.51, applicable to Article 50E, as amended, the NC Hemp Commission. Now defines the term to mean harvested raw or dried hemp plant material, in a form intended to allow THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke, including hemp buds or hemp flowers, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes (previously, a product that does not exceed the federally defined THC level for hemp in a form that allows THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke, including hemp buds, hemp flowers, whole or ground raw hemp plant material, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes). Now excludes hemp extracts from smokable hemp.

    Adds to the qualifications for licensed cultivators and handlers of hemp set out in GS 106-568.53A. Extends all rights and privileges granted to the licensee to the licensee's spouse so long as the spouse meets all other qualifications for licensure. Additionally, deems the license transferrable to a member of the licensee's immediate family upon the death or incapacity of the licensee, so long as the transferee meets all other qualifiications for licensure. Requires the NC Hemp Commission to modify the licensure to reflect the transfer to the transferee upon death of the licensee without the licensure applying for a new license. Requires the transferee to submit to and pay the NC Hemp Commission for an annual criminal background check if one is not currently on record. Makes identical additions to the licensure qualifications set forth in proposed GS 106-568.63, effective July 1, 2021, which mirrors those set forth in GS 106-568.53A.

    Amends GS 106-568.57, making it a Class 2 misdemeanor to sell hemp, hemp products, or hemp extracts to a person under 18 years old. Changes the effective date of the proposed changes to GS 106-568.57, making the changes effective December 1, 2019, and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date (no longer the later of that date or 30 days after the effective date of specified federal regulations being adopted).

    Amends GS 90-87 to modify the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, Article 5, GS Chapter 90, now explicitly including smokable hemp in the defined term with no exceptions. Defines smokable hemp to mean harvested raw or dried hemp plant material, in a form intended to allow THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke, including hemp buds or hemp flowers, hemp cigars, and hemp cigarettes; excludes hemp extracts. Now explicitly excludes from the term marijuana hemp held by a licensed hemp cultivator or handler, hemp products, or hemp extract (previously, excluded hemp products or hemp extracts, but included smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of hemp plants grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product). Permits a licensed cultivator or licensed handler to possess raw hemp plant material for the purpose of selling the raw hemp plant material to a licensed handler or a person who may legally receive the raw hemp plant material in that person's jurisdiction, or processing the raw hemp plant material into a hemp product or hemp extract. Additionally, defines hemp and hemp extract. Defines hemp product to mean any product within a specified concentration of THC derived from or made by processing hemp plants or parts, including, but not limited to, cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption as federally approved, cloth cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol; excludes smokable hemp.

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 90-94 to remove the proposed statutory cross-reference to the definitions of hemp products and hemp extracts.

    Changes the effective date of Section 2 of the act (amending GS 90-87 and GS 90-94, and enacting GS 90-94.5), making the changes effective December 1, 2019, and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date (no longer the later of that date or 30 days after the effective date of specified federal regulations being adopted). No longer sunsets Section 2 on July 1, 2021. Makes conforming changes.

    Amends the proposed definition of smokable hemp set forth in new GS 106-568.61, applicable to new Article 50F, NC Hemp Program. Now defines the term to mean a material, compound, mixture, or preparation (rather than a product) that allows THC to be introduced into the human body by inhalation of smoke. Adds that the term includes whole or ground raw hemp plant material, including hemp buds and hemp flowers.

    Modifies the civil penalties provisions set forth in proposed GS 106-568.66 to no longer provide a civil penalty for knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, selling or possessing smokable hemp. Instead, amends proposed GS 106-568.67, adding to the Article's criminal penalties. Makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to sell hemp, hemp products, or hemp extracts to a person less than 18 years old (identical to the proposed changes to the criminal penalty provisions of Article 50E, GS 106-568.57).

    Eliminates proposed GS 106-568.56(a)(5), which permitted assessing a civil penalty for knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing smokable hemp, effective December 1, 2019.

    Further amends GS 153A-340 to require properties used for shooting sports to also comply with local zoning and development ordinances.

    Amends proposed GS 139-8.2 to except from the confidentiality provisions complaints to a soil and water conservation district resulting in a determination that a violation of law has occurred.

    Deletes the changes to GS 143-215.71 and GS 143B-135.238 concerning duplicate funding for projects under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

    Eliminates the directive requiring the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to develop performance management procedures for projects funded as part of the Western Stream Initiative. Makes conforming deletions of the reporting requirements, proposed GS 143-215.72(d)(3).

    Eliminates the directive requiring the Office of the State Auditor to conduct an audit of the Western Stream Initiative funding for projects managed by the Resource Institute.

    Eliminates the directive requiring the Environmental Review Commission to study matters related to decommissioning of utility-scale solar projects.


  • Summary date: Jul 1 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 5th edition makes the following changes. 

    Amends the makeup of the Hemp Commission (Commission) set forth in GS 106-568.52, now requiring one of the two Governor-appointed members who is a full-time or Emeritus faculty member of a State land grant university who regularly works in the field of agricultural science or research to be appointed from NC A&T State University and reflect the spirit and relationship to the education and research for which the land grant program was established. Also now requires one of the two experienced farmer members appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture to be a small farmer who is a historically underserved African-American farmer. Additionally, requires the member appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture be recommended by the Small and Minority Farm Program (previously, required to be a professional agricultural consultant). 

    Amends proposed GS 106-568.55A, concerning bonding requirements for hemp handlers. Now limits the bonding requirements to hemp handlers who process hemp purchased from a cultivator. Additionally, exempts from the bonding requirements handlers who process only hemp grown by the handler. Makes identical changes to the bonding requirements set forth in proposed GS 106-568.64, effective July 1, 2021. Makes further clarifying changes to proposed GS 106-568.64.

    Modifies proposed GS 106-658.58 to change the statutory numbering to GS 106-568.58.

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 90-87 which become effective either December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of the US Department of Agriculture's adopted regulations. Now defines marijuana to exclude hemp products or hemp extracts, and include smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product (previously, excluded hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts and smokable hemp when the hemp is produced and used in compliance with the Article and rules of the Commission). Makes similar changes to the statute, effective July 1, 2021, to exclude hemp products or hemp extracts, and include smokable hemp except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product. Also amends the proposed changes to GS 90-94, effective either December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of the US Department of Agriculture's adopted regulations, to remove  tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp and smokable hemp from the proposed exclusions from tetrahydrocannabinols, classified as a Schedule VI controlled substance (previously, excluded tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts, or smokable hemp). Makes identical changes to the statute, effective July 1, 2021.

    Amends the criminal penalties set forth in proposed GS 106-568.67, effective July 1, 2021, eliminating the Class 1 misdemeanor offense for knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing smokable hemp. Makes identical changes to delete proposed GS 106-568.57(d), which was to be become effective December 1, 2020.

    Amends proposed GS 106-121(1a), excluding smokable hemp from the definition of the term cannabinoid-related compounds as used in Article 12 (regarding the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' regulation of food, drugs, and cosmetics). Sunsets the proposed changes to GS 106-121 on July 1, 2021. Enacts identical changes to the statute, effective July 1, 2021, except changes a statutory cross-reference to the definition of smokable hemp, as enacted.

    Changes the effective date to Section 14, which amends GS 106-568.56 (civil penalties for manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing smokable hemp), requires quarterly meetings of specified entities to discuss best practices in the hemp industry, and requires the SBI to notify the specified Commission when the US DEA has adopted an approved immediate testing method for whether hemp is within the federally defined THC level. Makes these provisions effective December 1, 2019, rather than December 1, 2020.

    Eliminates the directives regarding the Environmental Management Commission's implementation of 15A NCAC 02D .1806 (Control and prohibition of odorous emissions).

    Further amends Section 10.24 of SL 2017-57 to sunset the NC Food Innvoation Lab Committee (as renamed) on January 1, 2020 (previously, set to sunset on January 1, 2025).

    Directs the ERC to study matters related to the decommissioning of utility-scale solar projects, including the need for performance bonding to ensure proper decommissioning and closure of existing or future-built solar facilities, the economic feasibility and availability of recycling solar panels, and a survey of other states' related regulatory requirements. Requires the ERC to report to the 2020 Regular Session of the 2019 General Assembly upon its convening. Defines utility-scale solar project, and includes the solar rays, accessory buildings, transmission facilities, and any other infrastructure necessary of the operation of the project in the term.

    Directs the ERC to study DEQ's process for the development and adoption of general permits for animal waste management systems for swine, cattle, and poultry operations, including whether the general permitting process should comply with the APA. Identifies entities the ERC must seek input from, including representatives of farmers and environmental protection and natural resource conservation groups. Directs ERC to report to the 2020 Regular Session of the 2019 General Assembly upon its convening. 


  • Summary date: Jun 17 2019 - More information

    Senate amendment to the 4th edition makes the following changes. 

    Deletes Section 26 of the act, which enacted new Article 9, Right to Repair Act, in GS Chapter 75.


  • Summary date: Jun 12 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes. 

    Amends GS 105-277.4 as follows. Only requires the assessor to provide written notice of a determination that the properly has lost its eligibility for present-use value classification to instances where eligibility is lost for a reason other than failure to file a timely application required due to transfer of the land. No longer requires the notice to be provided separately from a regular yearly tax notice or tax bill. Deletes duplicate language. Adds that a new appeal to a decision of the assessor regarding the disqualification of property for which notice was received is not required to be submitted for subsequent tax years while the appeal of that disqualifying event is outstanding. Provides that when a property's present-use value classification is reinstated upon appeal of the disqualifying, it is reinstated retroactive to the date the classification was revoked. Deletes the provision providing that if no notice is given to the owner regarding the subsequent decision to disqualify, a reinstatement of the property by the specified entities is deemed effective for any assessments occurring from the date of the assessor's decision under appeal to the date of the final decision of that entity to reinstate the property. Makes the changes to GS 105-277.4 effective when the act becomes law (was, effective for taxes imposed for taxable years beginning or or after July 1, 2019). 


  • Summary date: Jun 11 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute modifies and adds to the 2nd edition as follows. 

    Deletes the proposed changes to GS 90-95 concerning penalties for hemp licensees with regard to Schedule VI controlled substance violations. Instead, enacts GS 90-94.5 to establish immunity for individuals possessing a valid hemp license issued by the NC Hemp Commission (Commission) from prosecution under the specified controlled substance laws with respect to the commodity cultivated by the licensee containing a THC level that exceeds the federally defined THC level for hemp. Excludes willful, knowing, or intentional violations from immunity. Specifies that no criminal penalty can attach to the specified negligent violations concerning production of cannabis with more than the federally defined THC level for hemp. Instead establishes that the penalty for a licensee's negligent violation will be determined by the Commission pursuant to GS 106-568.55B, as enacted. Effective and applies to offenses committed on or after the later of December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of specified regulations adopted by the US Department of Agriculture, and expire July 1, 2021. Enacts the same statute with nearly identical provisions, effective July 1, 2021; however, provides immunity for individuals possessing hemp licenses issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services rather than the Commission. Makes a conforming change to the statutory cross reference concerning disciplinary action for licensees.


  • Summary date: Jun 6 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute modifies and adds to the 1st edition as follows. 

    Changes the act’s long title and makes organizational changes.

    Sections 1 through 7

    Makes the following changes to Article 50E of GS Chapter 106. Retitles the Article as North Carolina Hemp Commission (was, Industrial Hemp). Amends the legislative findings and purpose set forth for the Article, declaring hemp to be a viable agricultural commodity and the promotion of the hemp industry to be in the best interest of citizens (previously established an agricultural pilot program for the cultivation of industrial hemp). Adds to the Article’s defined terms: cannabidiol, cannabinoid, commercial sale, cultivating, federally defined THC level for hemp, handling, hemp, hemp extract, licensee, processing, and smokable hemp. Removes commercial use, grower, industrial hemp, industrial hemp research program, state land grant university, and verified propagule from the defined terms given. Modifies the definitions for hemp product and tetrahydrocannabinol.

    Renames the NC Industrial Hemp Commission as the NC Hemp Commission (Commission) and sets current members’ terms to expire July 1, 2021. Now allows the two appointments of the Governor to the Commission to be a full-time faculty member or Emeritus faculty member of a State land grant university who regularly works in agricultural science or research (previously, limited to only full-time faculty members). Modifies and adds to the powers and duties of the Commission, now charging the Commission with establishing the NC Hemp Program (Program) to cultivate hemp in the state, issuing licenses for cultivating and handling hemp, and adopting necessary rules that prescribe sampling and testing procedures and set a schedule of nonrefundable fees for administering the Program. Eliminates all powers and duties related to the industrial hemp research program and cultivation licenses. Provides for hemp licensing qualifications for persons to cultivate or handle hemp in the state, issuable by the Commission and limited to qualifying farmers or conditional qualifying farmers. Allows the Commission to grant a license to cultivate hemp to a State agency or higher-learning institution, or an employee thereof for use in the scope of the employee's duties. Makes ineligible for licensure for a period of ten years any person convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance under state or federal law. Honors licenses issued by the former NC Industrial Hemp Commission for the term of the license. Eliminates the funding limitations set forth for the Commission. Establishes a $250,000 minimum bonding requirement for hemp handler licensees, recoverable by any cultivator injured by a contracted handler, as specified.

    Directs the Commission to require compliance with corrective action plans for persons required to obtain a hemp license under the Article and determined to have negligently violated any of the Article’s provisions. Details corrective action plan requirements, including correcting the violation by a specified date and periodic reporting to the Commission for at least two years. Makes ineligible to obtain a hemp license for a period of five years any person who negligently violates the Article or related rules three times in a five-year period, in addition to being subject to criminal and civil penalties for additional violations during that period. Requires the Commission to immediately report to the Commissioner of Agriculture (Commissioner), the Attorney General, and the appropriate law enforcement authority any violation of the Article or related rules that is reckless, willful, knowing, or intentional. Maintains the civil and criminal penalties under the Article, made applicable to hemp rather than industrial hemp.

    Adds that licenses are not required to possess, handle, transport, or sell hemp products or hemp extracts. Provides for export of hemp products consistent with the laws of the receiving jurisdiction.

    Establishes the NC Hemp Program Fund, housed in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Department), to be used by the Commission and the Department for the costs of personnel, program administration, testing, and any other costs incurred in administering the Article, including promotion, marketing, and branding of hemp grown and processed in the state.

    Directs (rather than authorizes) the Commission to adopt temporary rules to implement the above provisions of Section 1 of the act, effective until permanent rules are adopted (was, for 180 days after the effective date of the section).

    Deletes the previous provisions concerning the consideration of current members of the Industrial Hemp Commission in the appointment of members to the Commission. 

    Repeals Article 50E in its entirety, effective July 1, 2021.

    Amends GS 90-87 to exclude from the definition of marijuana hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts, and smokable hemp (was, excluded industrial hemp only) when produced and used in compliance with the Controlled Substances Act and rules adopted by the Commission. Amends GS 90-94 to exclude from schedule VI controlled substances tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts, or smokable hemp. Amends GS 90-95 to provide that any person who manufactures, sells or delivers, or possesses with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI is to be punished by being required to comply with a corrective action plan issued by the Commission for a first or second offense so long as the person has a valid hemp license and they did not willfully, knowingly, or intentionally cause the controlled substance to exceed the federally defined THC level for hemp. Sets out the same punishment for any person with a valid hemp license who possesses a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI. 

    The above changes are effective and apply to offenses committed on or after the later of December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of specified regulations adopted by the US Department of Agriculture, and expire July 1, 2021. 

    Amends GS 105-113.106 to define hemp as used in Article 2D, Unauthorized Substances Taxes, to mean hemp, hemp extracts, and hemp products. Exempts lawfully possessed hemp from unauthorized substance taxes under GS 105-113.107A. Effective for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2019, and expire July 1, 2021.

    Now requires the Commissioner (in consultation with the Governor and Attorney General) to submit to the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture a State plan for the regulation of hemp production (was, six months after the specified regulations are adopted by the US Department of Agriculture). Sets out six elements (was, four) that must be included in the plan, including a procedure to maintain information regarding land on which hemp is produced in the state, and a procedure for the disposal of products that are produced in violation of new Article 50F or any rule adopted by the Commission. Additionally requires the plan to include a procedure for conducting annual inspections and submitting information on each hemp producer to the US Department of Agriculture Secretary. Maintains that an amended plan must be submitted if the initial plan is disapproved. 

    Amends SL 2015-299, Section 4, to change the expiration of the act (establishing Article 50E, which regulates industrial hemp) until the later of December 1, 2019, or 30 days after the effective date of the specified regulations adopted by the US Department of Agriculture (was, the date that the NC Industrial Hemp Commission adopts and submits to the Governor and Revisor a resolution that a State industrial hemp pilot program is no longer necessary because federal legislation has been enacted and taken effect that removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act). 

    Sections 8 through 11

    Modifies proposed Article 50F, North Carolina Hemp Program, GS Chapter 106, as follows. 

    Adds cannabinoid and smokable hemp to the defined terms, and modifies the definitions set forth for hemp extract, hemp product, and tetrahydrocannabinol, mirroring the definitions of those terms provided in Article 50E, as amended. Eliminates the NC Hemp Commission. Makes changes throughout the Article to refer to the Department rather than the Commission, including granting the Department and the Commissioner the powers and duties previously granted to the Commission. Eliminates the previous provisions which directed that rules required to be adopted regarding sampling and testing procedures use a decarboxylation testing method. Modifies the Article’s civil penalties, authorizing a civil penalty not exceeding $2,500 per violation against any person who knowingly or intentionally manufactures, delivers, sells, or possesses smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product. Additionally makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product (mirroring the civil and criminal penalties set out in Article 50E, as amended). Modifies the provision which specifies that no license is required to possess, handle, transport, or sell hemp products or hemp extracts, no longer specifically including those containing CBD or other hemp-derived cannabinoids. Makes further conforming and technical changes.

    Now grants the Department enforcement authority of rules adopted by the Commission to implement Section 1 of the act until the Department amends or repeals the rules.

    Further amends GS 90-87 to also exclude from the definition of marijuana smokable hemp. Changes the statutory cross-reference. Amends GS 90-94 to exclude from schedule VI controlled substances tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp, hemp products, hemp extracts, or smokable hemp (mirroring the changes made to GS 90-94 by the act, expiring July 1, 2021). Modifies the proposed changes to GS 90-95 to provide that any person who manufactures, sells or delivers, or possesses with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI is to be punished by being required to comply with a corrective action plan issued by the Department (rather than the Commission, eliminated by the act) for a first or second offense so long as the person has a valid hemp license and they did not willfully, knowingly, or intentionally cause the controlled substance to exceed the federally defined THC level for hemp (rather than a specified concentration). Makes the same changes to the provisions setting out the same punishment for any person with a valid hemp license who possesses a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI. 

    Amends GS 105-113.106 to define hemp as used in Article 2D, Unauthorized Substances Taxes, to mean hemp, hemp extracts, and hemp products. Exempts lawfully possessed hemp from unauthorized substance taxes (mirroring the changes made to GS Chapter 105 made by the act, expiring July 1, 2021, with necessary changes to statutory references). 

    Effective July 1, 2021 (was the date that the NC Industrial Hemp Commission adopts and submits to the Governor and Revisor a resolution that a State industrial hemp pilot program is no longer necessary because federal legislation has been enacted and taken effect that removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act).

    Section 12

    Amends GS 106-121, adding the term cannabinoid related compounds, applicable to Article 12, Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. Modifies the proposed changes to GS 106-139, now directing the Board of Agriculture to adopt rules to establish current good manufacturing practices in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, or holding operations cannabinoid-related compounds derived from hemp (was, compounds related to industrial hemp), and prohibits engaging in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, processing, holding or selling of cannabinoid-related compounds without a valid license (previously did not include selling). Now directs the Board of Agriculture to develop a schedule of license fees to be used to cover costs of administering the licensing program. Eliminates the proposed provision which excluded retail establishments, wholesalers, and warehousing operations that do not engage in the manufacturing, packaging, or labeling of cannabinoid related compounds from licensure requirements. Makes the changes effective January 1, 2020 (was, effective on the date that the Commission adopts and submits the specified resolution to the Governor and to the Revisor of Statutes) and sunsets the provisions on July 1, 2021. Makes similar changes to the proposed changes to GS 106-139 to allow the Board of Agriculture to adopt rules to establish current good manufacturing practices in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, holding, or selling cannabinoid-related compounds derived from hemp, now effective July 1, 2021 (was, the date the Industrial Hemp Commission adopts and submits the resolution). Directs the Board of Agriculture to adopt temporary rules to implement Section 12 by November 1, 2019. 

    Section 13

    Further amends GS 106-550 to make technical changes. Maintains proposed GS 106-554.1 regarding applications for hemp referendums, now providing for the statute to expire July 1, 2021. Provides that the changes to GS 106-550 and proposed GS 106-554.1 are effective when the act becomes law (was, the date that the NC Industrial Hemp Commission adopts and submits to the Governor and Revisor a resolution that a State industrial hemp pilot program is no longer necessary because federal legislation has been enacted and taken effect that removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act).

    Section 14

    Amends GS 106-568.56, as amended, adding to the civil penalties provisions. Authorizes a civil penalty not exceeding $2,500 per violation against any person who knowingly or intentionally manufactures, delivers, sells, or possesses smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product. Amends GS 106-568.57, as amended, making it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess smokable hemp, except for hemp plants or parts of a hemp plant grown or handled by a licensee for processing or manufacturing into a legal hemp product. Applies to offenses occurring on or after December 1, 2020.

    Requires the Department, the NC Industrial Hemp Association, the Commission, the State Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies and district attorneys at the request of the SBI, to meet at least quarterly to discuss best practices for the hemp industry. Directs the Department to report any findings and recommendations from the meetings to the specified Commission within 30 days.

    Requires the State Bureau of Investigation to notify the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission when the US Drug Enforcement Agency has adopted an approved immediate testing method to determine whether hemp is within the federally defined THC level for hemp, at which time the Commission must conduct a study on whether the prohibition on the sale of smokable hemp should be repealed.

    Sections 15 and 16

    Maintains proposed GS 62-193, concerning disposition of certain unused easements, and GS 20-150(e1), concerning right-of-way for farm equipment turning left.

    Section 17

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 136-129 concerning outdoor advertising devices, to exempt specified outdoor advertising promoting a bona fide farm from the prohibition on outdoor advertising within 660 feet of the right-of-way of the interstate or primary highway system, so long as the outdoor advertising promotes a bona fide farm that is exempt from specified zoning regulations and the sign is more than three feet long on any side and it is located on any bona fide farm property owned or leased by the owner or lessee of the bona fide farm (previously did not specify that the sign must be located on a property owned or leased by the owner or lessee of the bona fide farm; instead required the sign to be located on the bona fide farm property).

    Sections 18 and 19

    Maintains the proposed changes to GS 120-150, concerning the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission, and the directives regarding the implementation of the odorous emissions rule by the Environmental Review Commission. 

    Section 20

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 99E-30 and GS 153A-340 to additionally include equestrian activities in the definition of agritourism activity, and to no longer explicitly exclude hunting or shooting sporting involving semiautomatic centerfire rifles from the definition of agritourism acitivity. Instead, amends GS 99E-30 and GS 153A-340 to require properties used for shooting sports to comply with guidelines for design and site evaluation as established by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Further amends GS 153A-340 to require a vote of the full board of county commissioners to determine whether a property used for shooting sports is in compliance with the Wildlife Resource Commission's guidelines. Makes technical changes.

    Enacts GS 153A-145.8 (concerning counties) and GS 160A-203.2 (concerning cities) to prohibit counties and cities from requiring catering permits for businesses located on property used for bona fide farm purposes that provide catering services on- and off-site from the property. Clarifies that the statutes do not exempt the businesses from any health and safety rules adopted by the local health department, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Commission of Public Health.

    Section 21

    Modifies proposed Article 87 of GS Chapter 106, now titling the Article as the NC Sweetpotato Act (was, the NC Sweet Potato Act of 2019), and making conforming changes throughout to refer to sweetpotatoes instead of sweet potatoes. Makes further technical changes. Now requires the Commissioner to remit all royalties and license fees under the Article to the NC SweetPotato Commission for the promotion of North Carolina sweetpotatoes, less any costs for regulating trademarks (previously, the Commissioner was to keep all royalties and fees for the promotion of the crop as well as to cover the costs for trademark regulation). No longer specifically refers to the US Standards for Grades of Sweetpotatoes effective April 21, 2005; instead adopts the most recently adopted US Standards for Grades by reference. Adds a new requirement for membership of the NC Sweetpotato Advisory Council to include at least one sweetpotato processor and at least one sweetpotato retailer. Makes further technical changes.

    Section 22

    Maintains the proposed changes to GS 89C-25, GS 139-3, and GS 139-4, concerning the program for granting job approval authority to the Soil and Water Conservation District staff and employees of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation. Makes technical changes to the proposed changes to GS 89C-25 and GS 139-4.

    Section 23

    Maintains the proposed changes to GS 105-277.4, regarding present use value of agricultural, horticultural, and forestland.

    Section 24

    Amends Section 10.24(a) of SL 2017-57, renaming the Food Processing Innovation Center Committee as the NC Food Innovation Lab Committee.

    Section 25

    Enacts GS 139-8.2, requiring information collected by soil and water conservation districts from farm owners, animal owners, agricultural producers, or owners of agricultural land that is confidential under federal or state law to be held confidential by the soil and water conservation districts. Specifically includes information provided by an agricultural producer or owner of agricultural land concerning the agricultural operation, farming, or conservation practices, or the land itself, in order to participate in soil water conservation programs and geospatial information otherwise maintained by the district about agricultural lands or operations for which information described as confidential is provided. Excludes applications for cost share assistance and associated contract documents that require the approval of the soil and water conservation district or the Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Effective October 1, 2019.

    Section 26

    Enacts Article 9, Right to Repair Act, to GS Chapter 75. Sets forth 12 defined terms. Requires original farm equipment manufacturers (manufacturers) of farm equipment sold or used in North Carolina to make diagnostic and repair information available to independent repair facilities, as defined, or owners of the manufacturer's products, free of charge and in the same manner the manufacturer makes them available to its authorized repair providers. Defines farm equipment to mean equipment that is used or intended for use in a farm operation, including any combine, tractor, implement, engine, motor, or attachment; excludes motor vehicles. Requires those manufacturers to make farm equipment parts available for purchase by the owner, owner’s agent, or any independent repair provider on fair and reasonable terms. Prohibits manufacturers that sell information to independent repair providers or owners in a standardized format, on conditions more favorable than those under which an authorized repair provider obtains the same information, from requiring the authorized repair provider to continue to purchase that information in a proprietary format, unless the proprietary format includes documentation or functionality not available in the standardized format. Requires manufacturers to make diagnostic repair tools available for purchase by owners and independent repair providers available to any authorized repair providers. Manufacturers that provide repair information to aftermarket service information publications and systems have fully satisfied their obligations under this statute. Requires farm equipment manufactured and sold or used for security-related functions to include necessary documentation to reset a security-related electronic function from information provided to owners and independent repair facilities, and authorizes provision of the information through an appropriate secure data release system. 

    Does not require divulging of trade secrets. Does not affect agreements between authorized repair providers and manufacturers. Grants authorized repair providers all rights under this statute, except in the case of a dispute under an existing agreement. Does not require manufacturers or authorized repair providers to provide an owner or independent repair provider with nondiagnostic and nonrepair information provided to an authorized repair provider by the manufacturer pursuant to an agreement or contract.

    Places enforcement authority with the Attorney General and authorizes civil penalties of up to $500 per violation of the Article. Also establishes a claim for an owner or independent repair provider to recover from a manufacturer up to $500 per violation.

    Effective October 1, 2019.

    Section 27

    Amends GS 143-215.10I, concerning swine farm modifications, to condition modification of an animal waste management system permit upon the permitting action not resulting in an increase in the permitted capacity of the swine farm, as measured by the annual steady state live weight capacity of the farm. Makes further organizational and clarifying changes. 

    Section 28

    Amends GS 143-215.71 and GS 143B-135-238 (appears to intend GS 143B-135.238) to specify that projects cannot receive grant funding from both the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

    Directs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to jointly report to the specified NCGA committee by September 30, 2019, regarding funding overlaps between water resources development grant funding and Clean Water Management Trust Fund grants for the Western Stream Initiative (Initiative) and the efforts of the Departments to improve administration of grants for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

    Section 29

    Directs DEQ to develop performance management procedures for projects funded as part of the Initiative, including the collection and reporting of 10 specified measures for all projects receiving grant funding. Requires the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to provide DEQ with the specified measures relevant to funding for the Initiative provided by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. 

    Amends GS 143-215.72, establishing an annual reporting requirement for DEQ regarding grants for projects funded through the Initiative (defined as the portion of the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding provided to the Western Stream Initiative for certain counties). Requires the report to be submitted to the specified NCGA committee and division by November 1, and requires the report to include measures of grant administration and grant implementation efficiency and effectiveness.

    Section 30

    Directs the Office of the State Auditor to audit all State funds ever paid to the Resources Institute for the Initiative through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and Water Resources Development Grants for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program no later than June 1, 2020. Directs the Director and Board of Trustees of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and DEQ to seek recoupment of any identified overpayment of State funds based on the audit’s findings.

    Section 31

    Maintains the act’s severability clause and effective date provision. 


  • Summary date: Mar 20 2019 - More information

    Enacts new Article 50F, North Carolina Hemp Commission, in GS Chapter 106, providing as follows. Includes the NCGA’s findings related to hemp. Defines hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa (L.) and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, within the federally defined THC level for hemp. Defines hemp extract as an extract from hemp, or a mixture or preparation containing hemp plant material or compounds. Defines hemp product as any product within the federally defined THC level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including, but not limited to, cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol.

    Establishes the nine-member North Carolina Hemp Commission (Commission). Provides that members, appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture (Commissioner), NCGA, and Governor, serve four-year terms with initial terms effective July 1, 2019, with staggered membership terminating on specified dates. Establishes the Commission’s duties, including issuing licenses allowing a person, firm, or corporation to cultivate or handle hemp. Allows the Commission to adopt temporary rules to implement the act for 180 days after effective date.

    Prohibits a person from cultivating or handling hemp in this state without a hemp license issued by the Commission. Limits individuals who are able to obtain a license to cultivate hemp to those who are qualifying farmers or a conditional qualifying farmer.  Makes any person convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance ineligible to obtain any hemp license for 10 years following conviction. Any person who materially falsifies license application information is ineligible to obtain a license.

    Requires licensees to furnish the Commissioner with a bond in the amount of no less than $25,000. Allows a new bond or increased bond amount if the Commissioner finds it necessary for the cultivator’s protection.

    Requires any person who is required to obtain a hemp license issued to comply with a corrective action plan if the Commission determines that the person has negligently violated any provision of this Article or any rule adopted by the Commission. Requires the corrective action plan to include at least the date by which the violation will be corrected and a requirement that the person will periodically report on the person's compliance for at least the next two calendar years. Sets the penalty for a negligent violation of any provision of this Article or any rule adopted by the Commission as compliance with a corrective action plan; negligent violations of this Article or any rule adopted by the Commission three times in a five-year period makes the individual ineligible to obtain a hemp license for five years beginning on the date of the third violation and the individual is subject to criminal and civil penalties for additional violations during that period.

    Allows civil penalties of no more than $2,500 per violation against any person who: (1) violates any provision of this Article or a rule adopted by the Commission, or conditions of any license, permit, or order issued by the Commission; (2) manufactures, distributes, dispenses, delivers, purchases, aids, abets, attempts, or conspires to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, purchase, or possesses with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or purchase marijuana on property used for hemp production, or in a manner intended to disguise the marijuana due to its proximity to hemp; (3) provides the Commission with false or misleading information in relation to a license application or renewal, inspection, or investigation authorized by this Article; or (4) tampers with or adulterates a hemp crop lawfully planted.

    Makes it a Class I felony to willfully, knowingly, or intentionally manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, purchase, aid, abet, attempt, or conspire to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, purchase, or possess with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or purchase marijuana on property used for hemp production, or in a manner intended to disguise the marijuana due to its proximity to hemp. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to (1) willfully, knowingly, or intentionally provide the Commission with false or misleading information or (2) willfully, knowingly, or intentionally tamper with or adulterate a hemp crop lawfully planted.

    Exempts from licensing possessing, handling, transport, or selling hemp products or hemp extracts. Allows hemp products to be transported to other states and exported to foreign nations.

    Establishes the North Carolina Hemp Program Fund (Fund) in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), consisting of amounts received from appropriations and any other proceeds from gifts, grants, federal funds, application fees, license fees, and any other funds made available for purposes of this Article. Limits the Fund’s use to the costs of personnel, program administration, testing, and any other costs incurred in administering this Article, including promotion, marketing, and branding of North Carolina grown and processed hemp.

    Amends GS 106-139 by adding the following provisions. Allows the Board of Agriculture to adopt rules to establish current good manufacturing practices in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, or holding operations for cannabinoid-related compounds derived from industrial hemp. Prohibits the manufacture, sale, delivery, holding, or offering for sale of any cannabinoid-related compounds that does not comply with the Board’s rules. Prohibits engaging in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, processing, or holding of cannabinoid-related compounds without a valid license. Exempts retail establishments, wholesalers, and warehousing operations that do not engage in the manufacturing, packaging, or labeling of cannabinoid-related compounds. Specifies information that is to be included on the license application. Makes failure to comply with Article 12 (Food, Drugs and Cosmetics) or related regulations cause for license suspension or revocation.

    The above provisions are effective on the date that the Commission adopts and submits to the Governor and to the Revisor of Statutes a resolution that a State pilot program allowing farmers to lawfully grow industrial hemp is no longer necessary because (1) the United States Congress has enacted legislation that removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act and (2) the legislation has taken effect.

    Effective on the date that the Commission adopts and submits the resolution to the Governor and to the Revisor of Statutes, amends GS 106-139 again to allow the Board of Agriculture to adopt rules to establish current good manufacturing practices in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, or holding operations for cannabinoid-related compounds derived from hemp (was, industrial hemp).

    Amends GS 90-87 to exclude from the definition of marijuana hemp, hemp products, or hemp extracts (was, excluded industrial hemp only). Amends GS 90-95 to provide that any person who manufactures, sells or delivers, or possesses with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI is to be punished by being required to comply with a corrective action plan for a first or second offense so long as the person has a valid hemp license and they did not willfully, knowingly, or intentionally cause the controlled substance to exceed the specified concentration. Sets out the same punishment for any person with a valid hemp license who possesses a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI. Effective on the date that the Commission adopts and submits to the Governor and to the Revisor of Statutes a resolution that a State pilot program allowing farmers to lawfully grow industrial hemp is no longer necessary because (1) the United States Congress has enacted legislation that removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act and (2) the legislation has taken effect.

    Requires within six months of the adoption of rules by the US Department of Agriculture pursuant to Section 297D of the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946, as amended by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, that the Commissioner (in consultation with the Governor and Attorney General) submit to the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture a State plan for the regulation of hemp production. Sets out four elements that must be included in the plan including a procedure to maintain information regarding land on which hemp is produced in the state, and a procedure for the disposal of products that are produced in violation of new Article 50F or any rule adopted by the Commission. Requires an amended plan be submitted if the initial plan is disapproved. Effective when the act becomes law.

    Amends GS 106-550 to declare it in the interests of the public welfare that the state’s farmers who produce hemp (along with producers of other specified crops) be permitted and encouraged to act in cooperation with growers, handlers, dealers, and processors in promoting and stimulating the increased production, use, and sale of such agricultural commodities. Enacts new GS 106-554.1 making the Commission the entity that provides certification and approval for the purpose of conducting a referendum among hemp growers or producers. Requires the Commission to perform the same function as the Board of Agriculture in all other respects for cultivators of hemp.  Effective on the date that the Commission adopts and submits to the Governor and to the Revisor of Statutes a resolution that a State pilot program allowing farmers to lawfully grow industrial hemp is no longer necessary because (1) the United States Congress has enacted legislation that removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act and (2) the legislation has taken effect.

    Amends SL 2015-299, Section 4, to change the expiration of the act (establishing Article 50E, which regulates industrial hemp) until the date that the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission adopts and submits to the Governor and Revisor a resolution that a State pilot program allowing farmers to lawfully grow industrial hemp is no longer necessary because (1) the United States Congress has enacted legislation that removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act and (2) the legislation has taken effect (was, expired on June 30 of the fiscal year in which such a resolution was adopted).

    Enacts GS 62-193, allowing the underlying fee owner of land encumbered by any easement acquired by a utility company to file a complaint with the Utilities Commission for an order requiring the utility company to terminate the easement, in exchange for payment of its fair market value, when construction has not been commenced by the utility company for the purpose for which the easement was acquired within 20 years of the date of acquisition (whether acquired by purchase or condemnation). Provides for service and response of the complaint, including disagreement with termination by the utility company, in which case the Commission must determine (1) whether the easement is necessary or advisable for the utility company’s long-range needs for the provisions of services to its service area or (2) whether the termination of the easement would be contrary to the using and consuming public’s interest. Permits a hearing on the matter, and provides an appeals process for an appeal of the Commission’s decision by either party. Places the burden of proof on the utility company. Provides a process for instances when the underlying fee owner and the utility company cannot reach a mutually agreed upon fair market value of the easement. Prohibits the underlying fee owner from filing a second complaint with the Commission regarding the same easement for a period of five years if the Commission decides that the easement should not be terminated. Defines utility company. Effective October 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 20-150 to prohibit drivers from overtaking and passing self-propelled farm equipment proceeding in the same direction that is making a left turn or signaling an intent to do so. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 136-129 to exempt specified outdoor advertising promoting a bona fide farm from the prohibition on outdoor advertising within 660 feet of the right-of-way of the interstate or primary highway system.  In order to be exempt, the outdoor advertising must promote a bona fide farm that is exempt from specified zoning regulations if the sign is more than three feet long on any side and it is located on the bona fide farm property (this replaces the exemption that applied to advertisements for the sale of any fruit or vegetable crop by the grower at a roadside stand or by having the purchaser pick the crop on the property if the sign met specified requirements). 

    Amends GS 120-150 by adding that the cochairs of the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission serve two-year terms that begin on the convening of the NCGA in each odd-numbered year. Sets out provisions governing lack of successor, completion of service when not seeking reelection, and resignation.

    Requires that the Environmental Management Commission classify facilities storing products that are (1) grown, produced or generated on one or more agricultural operations and (2) that are renewable energy resources, as agricultural operations that are exempt from the requirements of 15A NCAC 02D .1806 (control and prohibition of odorous emissions). Requires adoption rules to amend 15A NCAC 02D .1806 consistent with this provision.

    Amends the definition of agritourism activity as it applies to Article 4, Argitourism Activity Liability of GS Chapter 99E, so that it also includes any activity carried out on a farm or ranch that allows members of the general public to view or enjoy hunting, fishing, and shooting sports (but excludes hunting or shooting sports involving semiautomatic centerfire rifles). Amends GS 153A-340(b)(2a) concerning the qualifications for a building or structure that is used for agritourism to meet a bona fide farm purpose by amending the definition of agritourism in the same manner as above.

    Enacts new Article 87, North Carolina Sweet Potato Act of 2019, in GS Chapter 87. Specifies that only sweet potatoes grown in the state may be designated for sale inside or outside of the state as North Carolina sweet potatoes. Allows the Commissioner of Agriculture (Commissioner) to create, register, license, promote, and protect a trademark for use on or in connection with the sale or promotion of North Carolina sweet potatoes and products containing North Carolina sweet potatoes. Allows collection of a reasonable royalty or license fee, to be determined by the Commissioner in consultation with representatives of the sweet potato industry and the Marketing Division of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Requires that funds from the royalties and license fees be used to promote North Carolina sweet potatoes and to pay costs associated with monitoring the use of the trademark, prohibiting the unlawful or unauthorized use of the trademark, and enforcing rights in the trademark. Allows the Board of Agriculture to adopt rules on quality standards, grades, packing, handling, labeling, and marketing practices for the marketing of sweet potatoes in this state, and other rules necessary to administer this Article. Also allows the adoption of rules establishing a registration, inspection, and verification program for the production and marketing of North Carolina sweet potatoes in the state. Requires all North Carolina sweet potatoes sold to conform to the prescribed standards and grades and be labeled. Provides for inspections by the Commissioner and the Commissioner's agents. Adopts as the standards for grades in this state the specified standard for grades adopted by the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service. Requires the Commissioner to appoint a North Carolina Sweet Potato Advisory Council to render advice regarding the Commissioner's authority to regulate and promote sweet potatoes.

    Amends GS 89C-25 by providing that GS Chapter 89C (Engineering and Land Surveying) does not prevent practice by employees of the DACS Division of Soil and Water Conservation who have engineering job approval authority issued by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Soil and Water Conservation Commission that involves the planning, designing, or implementation of best management practices on agricultural lands, or for the planning, designing, or implementation of best management practices approved for cost-share funding pursuant to the specified programs. Amends GS 139-3 by defining the term job approval authority. Amends GS 139-4 by adding to the Soil and Water Conservation Commission’s duties developing and implementing a program for granting job approval authority to Soil and Water Conservation District staff and employees of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation to plan, design, and certify the installation of best management practices approved for cost-share funding pursuant to specified programs.

    Amends GS 105-277.4 by adding that if an assessor determines that property loses its eligibility for present-use value classification, the assessor must give written notice to the owner, including specified information; requires the notice to be separate from the regular yearly tax notice or bill. Requires that an appeal of the assessor’s determination be made within 60 days after date of the written notice. Adds that while an assessor’s decision of lost eligibility is under appeal, if the assessor determines that the property is no longer eligible because of an additional disqualifying event independent of the one that is the basis of the disqualification under appeal, the assessor must follow the same notice and appeal procedure for the subsequent disqualification. If notice is not given for the subsequent disqualification, reinstatement of the property is deemed effective for any assessments occurring from the date of the assessor’s decision under appeal to the date of the final decision of the county board or Property Tax Commission to reinstate the property. Effective for taxes imposed for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2019.

    Includes a severability clause.


Printer-friendly: Click to view