Industrial hemp became legal in North Carolina on Oct. 31 as Gov. Pat McCrory failed to either sign or veto Senate Bill 313 after allowing it to sit on his desk for nearly a month. The bill mandates creation of a state Industrial Hemp Commission to oversee research in industrial hemp under terms of the new federal Farm Bill. The ultimate aim is to "provide opportunities to small farmers for an environmentally sustainable and profitable use of crop lands that might otherwise be lost to agricultural production," according to the text of the new law. A hemp cultivation pilot program is to be established by North Carolina State University.