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NC Moves Closer to Industrial Hemp Farming

Before lawmakers left Raleigh last week, they sent to the governor a bill that would move the state closer to industrial hemp farming.  The bill would establish the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission, a 5-member commission, whose members will be appointed by legislators, state Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler and Governor Pat McCrory.  The commission would have to raise $200,ooo privately before establishing a pilot program.  They would also coordinate research with NC State University and North Carolina A&T. 

Senator Stan Bingham, a Republican representing Davidson and Montgomery counties, pushed for the bill.  As you can hear in the full interview below, Sen. Bingham says the bill will be good for the state.

The bill does have its critics.  One is organic farmer Robert Eidus who runs North Carolina Ginseng and Goldenseal Company at Eagle Feather Organic Farm.  Eidus says hemp would be a good thing for the state.  But as he expresses in the interview below, he says the bill attempts to monetize hemp farming, which is becoming more accepted at the federal level.  He takes issue with the $200,000 dollars and says it should be state-funded, and he doesn't like that the bill was crammed into the final days. 

RobertEidus4web.mp3
Full interview with organic farmer Robert Eidus

There are a number of uses for hemp.  It's perhaps most recognized as a material for making rope, paper and clothing.  Though it has a negligible amount of THC, it's been banned for years because of its associations with marijuana. 

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