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Importing & Exporting Hemp

Importing hemp propagules (seed, clones, transplants) or biomass 

In order to import hemp propagules you must hold a valid license to cultivate industrial hemp underneath the industrial hemp pilot program. If you do not hold a cultivation license you CAN NOT acquire viable seed, plants, clones, etc. The strains that you intend to acquire must either have an AOSCA certified designation (certified, breeder, foundation, registered) or you must be able to provide the following:

  1. The industrial hemp license information of the provider of the propagule
  2. A compliant certificate of analysis indicating that the strain complies with the 0.3% delta-9 THC requirement post-decarboxylation (Total THC). License holders must submit an amendment to add the new genetics and provide the information given above. It is recommended that the amendment be made prior to acquiring the material but must be made no later than 30 days after the order was placed.

    For processors or entities wishing to import hemp biomass, there are no specific legal requirements for doing so at this time. However, you should insist on obtaining the following documentation during the transaction and shipping of the product:

    1. The license information of the producer
    2. A certificate of analysis that is compliant for the material
    3. A bill of sale
    4. A bill of lading
    5. Other documentation the legitimizes and records the transaction as lawful and for a lawful product.” The state of North Carolina does not require you to be licensed in any way to purchase hemp biomass however if you are processing that material in any way you are required to register as a Processor

Exporting hemp propagules or biomass out of state. 

In order to export hemp propagules your material must first have been tested for compliance or given a waiver by the NCDA. Once that is obtained, the requirements will vary between states and whether you are selling seed or living plants. We recommend that you reach out to the receiving states Department of Agriculture to try and understand their requirements. For seed, the receiving state may require that you register as a seed dealer in their state. For living plants, you may have to have a phytosanitary certificate or other official documentation that your plants are pest free or produced in a certain manner. They will also likely require certificates of analysis and your license information. If you need a phytosanitary certificate you will need to contact your regional Plant Protection Specialist. Visit to find your inspector.

For those wishing to export hemp biomass to another state first and foremost the biomass in question must have been granted a testing waiver or passed a compliance test before it leaves the possession of the license holder. If it has not passed or been given a waiver moving that material could be considered shipping marijuana across state lines. When you sell hemp biomass and ship it you should include the following:

  1. Your hemp cultivator’s license
  2. A certificate of analysis that is compliant for the material
  3. A bill of sale
  4. A bill of lading
  5. Other documentation that legitimizes and records the transaction as lawful and for a lawful product

Failure to provide these documents may result in the product being seized by law enforcement or the logistics company. You should reach out to the receiving state to see if purchasers of hemp biomass are required to be registered or licensed. If that state does require a registration or license then the purchaser must provide it or you should refuse to sell to them.

Importing or exporting hemp in or out of the United States 

Importation of seed from Canada and other countries can be accomplished if desired. Please see the following information put out by the USDA regarding the importation of hemp seed. If you have further questions about the possible importation of plant material, living, plants, or other questions about importing and exporting we recommend that you reach out to the USDA at the contact information in the link above or at For the exportation of all plant parts you must meet the entry requirements of the receiving country. You can find those here: If you have additional questions regarding the exportation of hemp, please contact the specialist who covers your region.

Guidelines for Non-NC businesses 

If you are a business that wishes to sell hemp seed to the state of North Carolina you will have to register as a retail seed dealer. Visit for more information. Please note that regardless of what type of propagule you are selling the buyer MUST be licensed to cultivate in North Carolina in order for you to sell to them and for them to be able to legally purchase and possess your product. Additionally, see the requirements outlined above under “Importing hemp propagules or biomass.” If you are hoping to sell biomass into our state, please read through the suggestions given above under “Importing hemp propagules or biomass.” Please note that there is currently no license for hemp businesses at this time meaning you can ship hemp-based products into the state assuming you are following all other applicable federal and state laws.


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