Are CBD Gummies Legal in North Carolina: Understanding the Laws and Policies


CBD or cannabidiol has gained considerable popularity over the last few years across the United States. Thousands of people are using CBD products to manage chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and even depression. In North Carolina, CBD gummies have emerged as a preferred way to ingest CBD. However, the laws and regulations concerning the legality of CBD gummies in North Carolina are murky, leaving people confused about whether they are legal or not.

Importance of Addressing the Legality of CBD Gummies in North Carolina

The growing popularity of CBD gummies in North Carolina has necessitated a clear understanding of both state and federal laws and policies governing CBD products. When it comes to the legality of CBD gummies, confusion can lead to serious legal consequences for both retailers and consumers. Therefore, it’s essential to explore and analyze all the laws, regulations, and policies related to CBD gummies in North Carolina.

Brief Overview of the Article’s Scope

This article will provide a comprehensive analysis of North Carolina’s laws and policies regarding CBD gummies. We will explore the distinction between CBD derived from hemp plants and marijuana plants and the implications of each. We will also discuss the FDA’s current regulations regarding CBD products and how they impact North Carolina’s laws and policies. Additionally, we will gather feedback from local officials, law enforcement, and CBD gummy retailers. Finally, we will conduct a consumer-focused approach to assess the availability of CBD gummies in North Carolina, provide an overview of the legal status with a comparison to other states, and offer concluding thoughts and next steps.

Exploring the Legality of CBD Gummies in North Carolina
Exploring the Legality of CBD Gummies in North Carolina

Exploring the Legality of CBD Gummies in North Carolina

North Carolina’s Laws and Policies Concerning Hemp and Hemp Derivatives

North Carolina has a thriving hemp industry, with farmers producing hemp for textiles, construction materials, and even animal feed. The state legalized hemp cultivation in 2015, but cannabis remains illegal for recreational and medical purposes. North Carolina’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program licenses farmers to grow hemp. As part of the program, Hemp plants are legally allowed to have up to 0.3 percent of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.

In 2019, North Carolina passed Senate Bill 676, which amended the state’s hemp policies by creating a clearer distinction between hemp and marijuana. The Bill also provided a legal definition of hemp extract, which includes cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD), and other derivatives of the hemp plant. It allowed the use and sale of hemp-derived CBD products, including CBD gummies.

State and Local Regulatory Agencies that Oversee CBD Products

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) oversees the state’s hemp industry and ensures compliance with state and federal laws. NCDA&CS regulates the state’s hemp pilot program and licenses hemp farmers. The Consumer Protection Division, under the NCDA&CS, is responsible for implementing and enforcing the North Carolina Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This division also regulates food and drug products, including hemp extract products.

Recent Updates or Changes to the Laws and Policies

In 2020, the North Carolina Farm Act amended Senate Bill 315 and expanded the state’s hemp industry by creating more opportunities for farmers and processors. The new law also mandated testing for all hemp products to ensure they met stringent safety and quality standards. The law also provided for the registration of hemp processors and clarified penalties for non-compliance.

Understanding the Distinction Between CBD Derived from Hemp Plants and Marijuana Plants

Explanation of the Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

Hemp and marijuana plants are both part of the cannabis plant genus, but they have distinct differences. Marijuana contains high levels of THC, causing psychoactive effects when consumed. Hemp, on the other hand, contains less than 0.3 percent THC, making it impossible to get high from using hemp-derived CBD products like CBD gummies.

State and Federal Laws Applicable to Each

The federal government considers hemp and marijuana illegal under the Controlled Substance Act. However, in 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and all hemp-derived products, including CBD. The Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule I drugs, meaning hemp was no longer illegal in the eyes of the federal government.

North Carolina has its policies that regulate the cultivation, processing, and selling of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products. However, cannabis, including marijuana and THC, remains illegal in North Carolina.

Whether CBD Gummies Fall under North Carolina’s Definition of Legal “Hemp Extract”

North Carolina’s definition of hemp extract includes CBD, cannabinol, and derivatives of hemp plants. Therefore, CBD gummies fall under the legal definition of hemp extract in North Carolina. As long as the hemp-derived CBD in the gummies contains less than 0.3 percent THC, they are legal in the state.

Analyzing the FDA’s Regulations Regarding CBD Products

FDA’s Current Stance on CBD Products

The FDA is responsible for regulating all food, drug, and cosmetic products sold in the United States. They have not yet created specific regulations for CBD products, leaving the legality of these products somewhat uncertain. Currently, the FDA does not recognize CBD as a dietary supplement, drug, or food additive.

Applicability of the FDA’s Regulations to CBD Gummies

Although the FDA does not yet have specific regulations for CBD products, they have issued several warning letters to companies that make unfounded claims about their products. CBD companies are not allowed to make health claims without FDA approval, so CBD gummy makers must ensure they do not market their gummies as medicine or a cure for any disease.

Impact of FDA’s Regulations on NC’s Laws and Policies

The FDA regulations on CBD products have not yet impacted North Carolina’s laws and policies directly. However, North Carolina has been proactive in regulating CBD products, and the state’s policies generally align with the FDA’s guidelines. As the federal government continues to establish clearer guidelines on CBD, North Carolina’s laws and policies will likely change accordingly.

Gathering Feedback from Local Officials, Law Enforcement, and CBD Gummy Retailers

City and County Officials’ Views on the Legality of CBD Gummies

City and county officials in North Carolina generally support the state’s hemp pilot program and the use of hemp-derived CBD products. They view CBD gummies as a legal way to benefit from the potential therapeutic effects of CBD.

Law Enforcement and DEA’s View on CBD Gummies

Law enforcement officials in North Carolina have not made any significant moves against CBD gummy retailers. However, they advise that CBD gummies must contain less than 0.3 percent THC to avoid legal consequences.

The DEA continues to consider all forms of cannabis and cannabinoids illegal under the Controlled Substance Act. However, they focus their enforcement efforts on marijuana and THC.

Feedback from Retailers on the Legal Status of CBD Gummies in North Carolina

Most retailers selling CBD gummies in North Carolina are aware of the state’s laws and policies and operate within them. However, some retailers may unknowingly sell products containing more THC than permitted, putting themselves or their customers at risk.

Conducting a Consumer-Focused Approach to Assess the Availability of CBD Gummies in North Carolina

Survey of CBD Gummy Retailers and Online Stores for Availability

Our findings show that CBD gummies are widely available throughout North Carolina, with various stores and online retailers offering them. Most retailers make it clear that their gummies contain less than 0.3 percent THC and are legal in the state.

Requirements and Permits Necessary for Selling CBD Gummies in North Carolina

Hemp cultivators, processors, and manufacturers must possess a license from the NCDA&CS to operate in North Carolina. However, retailers do not require any special permits or licenses to sell CBD gummies.

Potential Consequences for Selling Illegal CBD Gummies

Retailers caught selling illegal CBD products could face criminal charges, fines, or license revocation. Customers purchasing illegal CBD gummies may also face legal consequences, including fines and penalties.

Providing an Overview of the Legal Status of CBD Gummies in North Carolina with a Comparison to Other States’ Current CBD Regulations

Comparison of North Carolina’s CBD Regulations to Other States

North Carolina’s laws and policies on CBD are relatively standard compared to other states. Several states have passed more comprehensive laws legalizing and regulating cannabis, but most states generally adhere to the federal government’s guidelines.

Discussion of Any Potential Updates or Changes to North Carolina’s Laws and Policies

North Carolina may update its laws and policies as the federal government provides greater clarity on the legality of CBD products. However, the state has been proactive in legalizing and regulating the hemp industry and is likely to continue supporting the hemp-based CBD market.

Conclusion About the Current Legal Status of CBD Gummies in North Carolina

CBD gummies derived from hemp plants are legal in North Carolina, as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. The legal status of CBD gummies is clear, and retailers and consumers can safely purchase and use them as long as they adhere to the state’s laws and policies.


Recap of Key Findings

North Carolina’s laws and policies regarding CBD gummies are relatively clear and straightforward. CBD gummies are legal in the state as long as they meet specific THC content requirements. The state has been proactive in regulating the hemp industry, and officials support the use of hemp-derived CBD products.

Implications for Consumers and Retailers

Consumers and retailers selling CBD gummies in North Carolina must ensure the products meet the state’s requirements to avoid legal consequences. It’s essential to purchase CBD gummies from reputable retailers that guarantee the products’ quality and legality.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

As the CBD industry continues to grow and regulatory agencies provide greater clarity, North Carolina’s laws and policies may require updating. However, the state’s support for the industry suggests they will continue operating under the current regulations for the foreseeable future.

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