Great news in the Tarheel State. As we alerted you a few weeks ago, North Carolina’s hemp program was set to expire TODAY, and Hemp Supporters on the ground were urgently fighting to pass legislation to firmly legalize hemp and hemp products and create a friendlier environment for hemp production. Thanks to your advocacy, SB 455 is on its way to the Governor’s desk, where we expect it will be signed. The bill defines hemp to match the 2018 Farm Bill’s definition, creates a broad definition for hemp products, removes hemp and hemp products from the definition of marijuana, and removes THCs in hemp and hemp products from the drug scheduling of THC. We applaud lawmakers, particularly Sen. Brent Jackson, for setting aside their differences and reaching common ground. Their compromise will result in important protections for hemp and hemp products in North Carolina.
Another bill we followed becomes law TOMORROW in Minnesota. HF 4065 is a new law that establishes THC limits for edible cannabinoid products and sets a 21-or-older age restriction for all hemp-derived cannabinoid products. We learned that the age restriction, THC limits, and other provisions of the law take effect tomorrow, while the portion of the law removing hemp-derived THCs from the controlled substances schedule does not go into effect until August 1. Given the new law’s complexity, we expect regulators to issue industry guidance and enforcement information soon.
Finally, in Pennsylvania, we’re excited about a state equivalent to the federal SAFE Banking Act. The bill—HB 331—authorizes providing financial and insurance services to legitimate cannabis businesses, including hemp businesses. Additionally, the bill prohibits government agencies from denying, penalizing, or discouraging financial institutions from providing such services and from subjecting a financial institution’s interest in a cannabis business’s loan collateral to civil or criminal forfeiture. The bill addresses an ongoing challenge for the hemp industry, and we encourage Pennsylvania Hemp Supporters to use our State Action Center to urge legislators to pass the bill.
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