Marijuana, Hemp, and CBD – Frequently Asked Questions The legality is marijuana is currently a hot topic and important question. Although North Carolina remains hesitant to reform, various states Looking to buy legal CBD oil in North Carolina? Here, we explain North Carolina’s laws regarding CBD oil & how to find the CBD nearby.
Marijuana, Hemp, and CBD – Frequently Asked Questions
The legality is marijuana is currently a hot topic and important question. Although North Carolina remains hesitant to reform, various states have implemented wide ranging legalization laws. Additionally, federal legalization was proposed in the US House for the first time recently and is thought to be a topic for review with the new incoming administration. Also, with the recent passage of federal and North Carolina law permitting the growth, processing, shipment, and sale of hemp and hemp derivatives, there are a growing number of questions related to the legality of cannabis. Our attorneys routinely represent individuals charged with criminal marijuana offenses as well as businesses engaged in the lawful sale of hemp products. The following FAQs are intended to help individuals understand the differences between marijuana and hemp and what is permissible and impermissible in North Carolina.
What are the different marijuana possession charges in North Carolina?
As a reminder, marijuana and hemp are both cannabis. However, marijuana and hemp are different varieties of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. As a general matter and without getting into the specifics of testing methods, hemp must contain 0.3% or less total Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”). Hemp is a legal agricultural commodity. Marijuana is an illegal controlled substance under both North Carolina and federal law.
Under North Carolina law, individuals can be charged with:
- Misdemeanor possession of marijuana (less than 1.5 oz)
- Felony Possession of Marijuana (1.5 oz – 10lbs; one-twentieth of an ounce of marijuana resin extract (hash, wax, shatter, vape, etc.) or any amount of synthetic THC)
- Felony Possession with Intent to Sell and/or Deliver
- Felony Trafficking of Marijuana (more than 10 pounds)
Marijuana remains an illegal federal controlled substance as well. Federal marijuana misdemeanor and felony prosecution applies for offenses committed on federal property, including the Capitol grounds and the mall within DC, as well as all national parks and military property nationwide, and other land under federal control. Federal marijuana laws also apply to offenses involving interstate commerce and importation from other countries.
How will I be punished for selling marijuana?
It depends whether you are charged in state or federal court and how much marijuana you are charged with selling. The following lists provide helpful guidance.
North Carolina Possession Sentences
- Less than 0.5 oz: Class 3 misdemeanor subject to a fine up to $200, probation, or up to 20 days in jail/
- 0.5 – 1.5 oz: Class 1 misdemeanor subject to a fine in the court’s discretion, probation, or up to 120 days in jail.
- 1.5 oz – 10 lbs; one-twentieth of an ounce of marijuana resin extract or any amount of synthetic THC: Class I felony charge subject to a fine, probation, or up to 24 months in jail.
North Carolina Marijuana Sale/Trafficking Sentences
- 10-50 lbs: Class H felony punishable by 25-30 months in jail, and/or $5,000 fine.
- 50-2,000 lbs: Class G felony punishable by 25-42 months, and/or $25,000 fine.
- 2,000-10,000 lbs: Class F felony punishable by 70-84 months and/or $50,000 fine.
- Over 10,000 lbs: Class D felony punishable by 175-219 months in jail, and/or $200,000 fine.
- Selling within 1,000 feet of a school, child care or park: Class E felony punishable by up to 88 months in jail.
- Selling to age 13 – 16 or someone who is pregnant: Class D felony punishable by up to 204 months in jail.
- Selling to age 13 and under: Class C felony charge punishable by up to 231 months in jail.
Federal Marijuana Possession Sentences
Possession of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction. For a second conviction, the penalties increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Federal Marijuana Distribution Sentences
Distribution of a small amount of marijuana, without payment, is treated as possession. Manufacture or distribution of less than 50 plants or 50 kilograms of marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. For 50-99 plants or 50-99 kilograms the penalty increases to not more than 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million if an individual, $5 million if other than an individual for the first offense. Manufacture or distribution of 100-999 plants or 100-999 kilograms carries a penalty of 5 – 40 years in prison and a fine of $2-$5 Million. For 1000 plants or 1000 kilograms or more, the penalty increases to 10 years – life in prison and a fine of $4-$10 Million.
Is hemp legal in North Carolina?
Yes, subject to very specific regulations. In order to be legal, hemp and hemp products (including CBD) must contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the active ingredient in marijuana that creates the feeling of being high. Subject to certain administrative licensing and registration requirements through the North Carolina hemp pilot program and federal rules released by the USDA as well as the FDA, it is legal to cultivate, process, transport, sell, and possess hemp and hemp products.
Is CBD legal in North Carolina?
Yes. Cannabidiol (“CBD”) and other cannabinoids (excluding THC) derived from hemp are legal in North Carolina. Proponents of CBD products claim an array of health benefits including treatment for seizures, arthritis, pain-relief, and anxiety all without the impairing effect of THC. CBD is often infused in cosmetic products like lip balms and oils, added to foods (although CBD containing foods are not currently permissible per FDA guidelines) like honey and gummies, and is even contained in an FDA approved drug, Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy.
Are THC vapes legal in North Carolina?
No. Vaping and cartridges or using other forms of marijuana resin extract (hash, wax, dabs, shatter, etc.) in other ways is illegal in North Carolina and is punishable as a felony for possession of more than one-twentieth of an ounce.
If hemp is legal, will I be protected against employment drug testing?
Yes. Or at least you should be under the Lawful Use of Lawful Products, N.C.G.S. § 95-28.2. This law prohibits employers from refusing to hire, terminating, or otherwise discrimination against a candidate or employee who engages or has engaged in the lawful use of lawful products off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours and the use does not adversely affect the employee’s job performance or the safety of other employees.
Since hemp is now a legal substance under both federal and state law, employees who use hemp products during nonworking hours off the employer’s premises arguably fall under this law’s protection. Although hemp and CBD contain low levels of THC, the permissible trace amounts of THC may be enough to result in a positive drug test. The problem facing employers and employees is that a positive THC test is generally unable to distinguish between illegal marijuana use and legal use of hemp and hemp products.
Can I grow hemp in my backyard?
No. Under state and federal laws, industrial hemp growers must be issued a license to participate in the industrial hemp pilot program. The Industrial Hemp Commission is responsible for developing rules and regulations for participating in the program.
How much CBD is legal?
While NC hemp license holders are required to report acreage, weight, type, and storage locations to the Hemp Commission, there is not currently any state or federal prohibition on the amount of hemp or CBD an individual may possess as long as other licensing, registration, and other applicable administrative reporting requirements are met.
How will police know if the hemp or CBD product is legal?
Unfortunately, individuals using hemp and CBD products may find themselves facing criminal prosecution. Although the use and possession of hemp and CBD is not illegal, law enforcement officials sometimes have a hard time telling the difference between hemp and marijuana which is still illegal in all forms in North Carolina. The confusion is understandable given that hemp flower, which can be smoked by CBD users, looks and even smells like marijuana. Further, even though hemp and CBD products can contain only 0.3% or less total THC, these low levels can still test positive on a police officer’s field test. Hemp users should also be concerned that drug tests may return a positive result.
Because legal hemp and CBD are very new to the market, police officers may not yet be trained on distinguishing the difference between hemp and marijuana. Until that happens we can reasonably expect to see a rise in the number of arrests and prosecution of individuals and businesses that use or sell hemp products. It is in your interest the have a criminal defense attorney experienced in this specific area of the law.
Can my hemp products be seized by law enforcement?
It is certainly possible. As discussed above, law enforcement has an understandably difficult time distinguishing between illegal marijuana and legal hemp and hemp derivative products. Our firm has seen situations were police have seized permissible hemp products mistakenly believe them to be contraband. In those situations, your best course of action is to get an attorney involved who understands the issues. There are a number of best practices our firm has helped clients implement to help prevent this type of situation from occurring. Among other preventative measures, it is recommended that you have on hand any product label, or certificate of analysis for any hemp or hemp-derived product when you are in possession of these items in public places to show a law enforcement officer if you are stopped or the product is confiscated.
What if I was charged with a crime because of CBD in North Carolina?
Contact a criminal defense attorney experienced with hemp and CBD issues. The attorneys at Dysart Willis Houchin & Hubbard are available 24/7 to talk to you about your case and how we can help.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in North Carolina in 2022
If you want to purchase CBD oil legally in North Carolina, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of. We explain everything here.
4. Most Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids Legal | Δ8, Δ9, and Δ10 Illegal | Marijuana Illegal
Table of Contents
Where To Buy CBD Oil In North Carolina:
- Royal CBD Oil— Best CBD Oil Overall
- Gold Bee CBD Gummies— Best CBD Gummies
- CBDistillery THC-Free Pure CBD Oil— Best CBD Isolate Oil
- Industrial Hemp Farms— Best CBD Flower
- Honest Paws CBD Oil For Dogs— Best CBD Oil For Dogs
Is CBD Oil Legal in North Carolina in 2022?
Yes. Despite North Carolina’s strict laws against marijuana, you can still legally purchase CBD oil here.
CBD can be derived from both flowering marijuana and industrial hemp plants. This is an important distinction because North Carolina laws change depending on how your CBD oil is made.
If your CBD oil is made using a flowering marijuana plant as the source, it is regarded as the same as weed; this is because marijuana-derived CBD oil generally contains a high level of THC, which is the chemical in marijuana that gets you stoned.
On the other hand, CBD oil produced from industrial hemp is legal to buy and possess in all 50 states. This is a product of the Farm Bill of 2018, which took industrial hemp off of the federal list of Controlled Substances.
Previously, industrial hemp was seen as no different from marijuana in the eyes of federal authorities.
Buying CBD Oil Online in North Carolina
Purchasing CBD oil online is by far the most convenient way to find reliable CBD oil in North Carolina.
Online suppliers generally offer better deals than those you would find in-store. You can save a lot of money by taking advantage of bulk sales and special offers.
Shopping online makes it easy to compare products from different companies and find the right product for your needs.
It’s essential that you do your research about the products you purchase. The Food and Drug Administration has found that many of the products sold over the counter have significantly less CBD than advertised.
1. Check For Third-Party Testing
This is the first thing you should check before committing to a particular brand. Outside labs can test that the CBD content inside the product matches what the company is advertising. They can also make sure that the oil is free from any potentially harmful chemicals and solvents.
2. Avoid Companies Making Unrealistic Health Claims
As a health supplement, CBD is wonderful. It is helping thousands of Americans manage the symptoms of a wide range of medical conditions. However, CBD isn’t going to be a magical drug that cures diseases. Avoid companies that make these claims.
3. Double-Check The THC Content
This is very important in North Carolina. The state has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana possession in the country. If caught with CBD oil containing THC, you could face jail time. If a company can’t follow the law, what are the chances that they are following quality controls?
Is Marijuana Legal in North Carolina in 2022?
Marijuana is currently illegal for recreational use in North Carolina. However, it has been decriminalized and Senate Bill 711 (North Carolina Compassionate Care Act) could possibly legalize medicinal marijuana.
A large reason for this is that the Federal Controlled Substances Act classes marijuana as a prohibited drug.
According to the Federal Government, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has the following qualities:
- It’s highly addictive and likely to be abused.
- It has no accepted medical properties and cannot be used to treat negative health conditions.
- It cannot be used safely under professional medical supervision.
Other drugs listed in this category include heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, and ecstasy.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in North Carolina
If caught with even a small amount of weed, you can be convicted and given a fine and jail time.
Less than half an ounce (approximately 14 grams) and you will get off with a small fine of $200. Beyond that, you could start to see jail time.
Anything between half an ounce and 1.5 ounces can lead to 1 to 45 days in jail with a fine of $1000.
Get caught with more than 1.5 ounces in North Carolina and it becomes a felony. The punishment for felony marijuana possession can be 3 to 8 months in jail plus a fine of $1000.
Growing marijuana in North Carolina is a huge risk. Growing any amount of marijuana under 10 pounds will be treated as a felony and could lead to 3 to 8 months in jail.
You don’t want to get busted for possession of marijuana in North Carolina.
Medical Marijuana in North Carolina
Technically, North Carolina has a medical marijuana program. However, it’s so incredibly limited that it might as well not have one at all.
The first steps taken toward medical marijuana in North Carolina happened in 2014 when the State Government passed the Hope 4 Haley and Friends Act.
The Act allows a very limited number of patients to participate in a study at the University of North Carolina to research the effects of CBD on epilepsy patients. The CBD oils used in the study are also limited. They must contain a minimum CBD content of 10% and less than 0.3% THC.
In 2016, Governor Pat McCrory introduced the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, which allows patients with intractable epilepsy to possess and use CBD oils that have a minimum of 5% CBD and a THC content of less than 0.9%.
Although North Carolina has made it legal for people with epilepsy to treat themselves with CBD oil, the state doesn’t have any licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
This means that North Carolina medical marijuana patients need to purchase their medicine in another state that allows out-of-state medical marijuana cards.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal in North Carolina in 2022?
North Carolina has banned delta 8 THC. It’s not alone — other states have outlawed it, as well.
As an isomer of delta 9 THC, it has some people concerned about its psychoactive effects, even though it has many health benefits. Studies are few, but it acts on the endocannabinoid system the same way THC does, just to a lesser degree, meaning it could greatly impact health. So far, it seems like it does.
How to Buy Delta 8 THC
You don’t have legal access to delta 8 in North Carolina, but maybe the laws will change soon.
If they do, remember to look for third-party tests before you do anything else. Shopping online gives you the best selection and lower prices, but you’re also able to check the company out thoroughly.
Check out the following companies for the highest-quality delta 8 around:
Buying CBD Oil Locally in North Carolina
With so many different options available online, it can get a little overwhelming. Sometimes, there is no substitute for going into a store and seeing the product for yourself.
If you’re one of those kinds of shoppers, we have made a shortlist of CBD oil suppliers in North Carolina.
NOTE: Even if you make your purchase in person, ensure you do your research. The Journal of Regulatory Science has found that over-the-counter CBD oils have inconsistent levels of CBD and can sometimes contain solvents and pesticides.
Recommended CBD Retailers in North Carolina
You shouldn’t have any trouble finding CBD oil locally if you visit your closest vape shop. They will typically have several options sold over the counter or the staff can point you in the right direction.
Final Notes on Buying CBD Oil in North Carolina
North Carolina has been slow to make progress when it comes to marijuana laws. Although medical marijuana licenses are available, they only apply to epilepsy patients, and you need to travel to another state to make your purchases.
Until the laws catch up with demand, your best bet to find CBD oil in North Carolina is to place an order online with a good supplier.