Lawmakers said they plan to outlaw smokable hemp next year, a move that could hurt what’s become a big seller in North Carolina’s booming legal hemp industry. Reports WLOS news

Here’s the report in full

Senate Bill 315: law enforcement loves it, and industrial hemp backers hate it. Both are clear on their reasons.

“Law enforcement has no issue with industrial hemp. We don’t even have an issue with the CBD oils. We don’t have have an issue with the industry,” Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said.

However, Griffin believes state legislators are doing the right thing by banning smokables.

“The rest of the industry is going to take a hit, people that have put millions of dollars into family farms that have completely turned over to hemp now,” Carolina Hemp Co. co-owner Trent Williams said.

Williams believes it’s a rush to judgment on what is simply a different delivery system for therapeutic CBD, singling out the bud and flower, which are also what any cannabis-based product comes from.

He said the levels of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, are not enough to get you high when it comes to industrial hemp.

“We have an issue when we’ve got the smokable hemp, that the state laboratory can’t even differentiate (it) from marijuana,” Griffin said.

Williams agrees there needs to be a better system of checks and balances, along with regulation and understanding.

“We all sit down, we have a conversation, we educate each other on what that means and what that is, then we can move forward,” Williams said.

Griffin said the time for talk is over.

“At this point, we consider anything containing THC to be illegal. We’re going to treat it as illegal,” Griffin said. “I hate that it hurts somebody’s wallet, and that’s all it’s about.”

Williams agrees North Carolina’s industrial hemp growers have too much riding on their smokable commodity to quit.

“From seed to sale, a lot of people have their lives staked in this, and I just don’t think everyone’s going to go out silently, if that’s the way it does go,” Griffin said

“If that’s the way it does go”: The key words.

The House and Senate are expected to vote Monday, and then send the measure to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk, with no veto expected.


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