There’s a growing industry here in North Carolina, and with it come countless rules, gray areas, and legal confusion—and no, we’re not talking about NFTs.
The hemp industry has been blooming in the state for years, but North Carolina is one of 12 states that doesn’t have a medical marijuana program. With the end of the legislative session on Thursday, and with it the sunset of the state’s 2017 industrial hemp pilot program legalizing hemp, CBD, and delta-8 products for sale here, we’re left puzzling over a number of bills sitting in the General Assembly—some of which could help patients who desperately need access to medical marijuana, and some of which could hurt local hemp farmers and business owners who have built their lives around the industry.
North Carolina is far ahead in the hemp game but far behind in legalization, putting the local industry at a disadvantage, says Gabrielle Jarrell, a chair at NC NORML, an organization that advocates for decriminalization and legalization of weed.
“There’s lots and lots of hemp farmers in North Carolina. We have a phenomenal climate for growing hemp, so it’s become a blossoming industry, especially out west—but it’s an industry that’s been hit hard,” Jarrell says. “There were 1,500 hemp farmers in 2020. And now there’s only 360 remaining.” [Read more at IndyWeek]
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