House lawmakers in North Carolina last week unanimously passed a bill to regulate hemp-derived consumables and kratom. The measure would require businesses to get licenses to sell the products, includes testing provisions, and prohibits sales to anyone under 18 years old.

Eric Stahl, of The Burnt Pot Cannabis Café and Modern Apothecia, told WNCN that the law “is a perfect example” of the Legislature “trying to work on behalf of small business to create a platform” that allows current hemp industry operators to continue business. Stahl did, however, note that if the final version of the law caps THC levels at 3 milligrams it would likely remove “in the range of 95%” of products his business currently carries from store shelves.

“What we need to do is make sure that all the players are acting fairly, that these products are being tested correctly, and that we’re not allowing, most importantly, not allowing intoxicating products to wind up in the hands of children.” — Stahl to WNCN

The law does not include criminal penalties for product violations by retailers but would impose a $500 fine for first-time violations, a $750 fine for a second violation within three years, a fine of up to $1,000 and a 30-day license suspension for the third violation within three years of the first violation, and fines up to $2,000 and either a one-year license suspension or license revocation for four or more violations within three years of the first violation, according to a bill summary.

The measure would make it a misdemeanor to supply hemp products to anyone under the age of 18. The bill includes a fine structure for selling kratom to underage individuals but includes misdemeanor charges for youths who misrepresent their age to purchase the products.

The measure is currently in the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations.

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