North Carolina lawmakers vote to delay smokable hemp ban

Another set of policymakers in North Carolina has signed off on banning smokable hemp until December 2020 in hopes that tests will be developed by then to distinguish the plant from marijuana.

The state House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the original measure passed by the Senate, which would make smokable hemp legal until December 2020, allowing time for the differentiation of hemp from marijuana and for the hemp industry to work with law enforcement to develop a compromise.

Earlier this month, the House Agriculture Committee approved a measure to ban smokable hemp by December.

Last week, the House Finance Committee approved another measure to criminalize smokable hemp and classify it as marijuana.

House Agriculture chair Jimmy Dixon, who had pushed for the earlier ban on smokable hemp and championed the measure to criminalize the product, changed his position, Raleigh TV station WRAL reported

He instead encouraged the House Judiciary Committee to continue to differentiate smokable hemp from marijuana and vote in favor of the Senate version of the bill, which would delay the ban until next year.

North Carolina’s Bureau of Investigation is pushing for the ban, saying it is difficult for law enforcement to discern smokable hemp from marijuana.

Hemp industry members testified in the Judiciary Committee hearing that the earlier ban would devastate hemp farms producing smokable hemp flower.

7 comments on “North Carolina lawmakers vote to delay smokable hemp ban
  1. HUNT Ward on

    Special thanks goes out to Rep Steve Ross and Senator Gunn for standing up for the Hemp Industry in NC. The proposed house version also included criminalizing all ingestible CBD products . This would have devastated the retail/wholesalers of cbd products as well as the farmers.

    N.C. is poised to be a top 3 Hemp producing state if we legislate properly.

    Hunt Ward

  2. Charlie on

    This is a clear overreach by law enforcement. We should be progressive and not regressive with this issue. This is prohibition 2.0 in a different form.
    Cannabis smoking should be allowed in all states, then law enforcement would not have an issue distinguishing between smoking hemp and cannabis. Besides all law enforcement cares about is profiting from the continued prohibition of cannabis in some states. They profit from convictions and fines of cannabis possession and smoking, which is an unjust and outdated policy.

  3. John McEverett, Etowah Greenhouse on

    This needs to be looked at very carefully and seriously when voting. As a native and resident of NC as well as a licensed Industrial Hemp grower who has invested heavily in a modern plant tissue culture laboratory and greenhouse to produce quality hemp clones it makes me wonder if I should have taken my technology and job opportunities to another state. We have a very good and dedicated Industrial Hemp Commission in NC that we can be proud of but now politicians and special interest groups seem to want to get involved and in the way of progress and freedom. I do applaud the common sense that may prevail in time and appreciate the moratorium however short on this but it still leaves the industry in a very precarious position. I can imagine that more progressive states are laughing at us and will take advantage of NC politicians wanting to go backward rather than forward.

  4. Barbara King on

    What does it matter Hemp and Cannabis are natural products, why should anyone care.

    Except big Pharma. they can’t stand it.

  5. Barbara King on

    There is nothing wrong with hemp, and cannabis, you do not die from these products, Opioids
    kill, It’s big pharma holding this back.( too bad)

    It’s coming to all states.

    Thanks for the good article.

  6. Kevin P Wood on

    This is so stupid the bill to stop cannabis use and growing hemp took ninety seconds in congress the first time they outlawed hemp using a lie to past it. Now the cannot tell the difference in the CBD and the THC varieties. Now you will send it back underground but I have heard people are sell the CBD hemp for THC pot on the street. Also Supreme Court has ruled in another state that outlawing this is unconstutional.

  7. Joe Teague Jr on

    Any solutions? North Carolina has never stopped and continues illegally prosecuting citizens for MJ possession even though they admit they have no way to measure %thc. They wait for accused to admit it was of the legal kind of hemp called MJ and when they don’t they proceed anyway. The court forcefully re-enforces the claims to the jury. it’s like Duke Lacrosse case but there is no voice for defense.

    The expert witness in this case was drummed off stand as agnostic by lab declarations that a untested package intercepted at FedEx was MJ so for sure punishable. Public Defender was nice guy, but like out of My Cousin Vinny. Private Investigator was not used. My son opted for a jury trial because shock, he was not guilty, was in school and a felony conviction was not acceptable for FAFSA recipient. Prosecution offered plea to conspiracy to transport but my son was just NG. Trial ended 1/31/20 with twelve jurors voting unanimously to convict for conspiracy to transport illegal MJ he had NO connection with and cops made no effort to deliver. Judge should have been recused bragging to jury he had handled over 100 of these MJ cases saying this one was simple…yes or no. Cops rushed to arrest my son without a warrant and claimed to find a little other peripheral material that was admitted too by Court and not %thc tested either. So much more, but it didn’t bother Superior Court Judge Tom Lock though. This was in Wake County, NC. Possession of the package was never established anyway or even association aside for common name and address on the seized package. Subsequently that name and address scribbled on package supposedly coming from California was lost by cops anyway. There has been one rogue cop leading effort to accuse my son of something since high school.

    So, is there a solution to wrongful malicious prosecution yielding prison when prosecutors and defense counsel say nothing while judge screams in court at jurors to convict on charges with no probable cause that hemp was of the illegal type. If the hemp’s legit, you must acquit. Strict liability claims in criminal court is out of place. It is tort law, not criminal law as misapplied in NC. The reus topic: mental and actus. Growing smokeable hemp is legal in NC.

    Any solutions? my son is currently waiting in prison without bail on appeal where court transcript will likely take a year represented by appellate defender indigent services papyrus. His case is cookie cutter standard across NC prisons. Worse, the pleas that it has produced and lives affected continuing. We were out of funds from an appeal at NCCOA at the time this case was brought from the appeal of a prior case brought by the same unprincipled overzealous nc court system and rogue prosecution and rush to judgment. Only JDs can be judge in NC we are told. Practice law is reserved for JDs only. In federal court pro se litigants are not allowed to file electronically even. The media in NC have no interest in illegal vs legal hemp. They leave the conversation to the courts to exploit. It’s how Duke Lacrosse case happened, but absent the will to defend or even articulate. The NC General Assembly are conflicted between legit hemp as a part of the agricultural industry contribution to NC revenues and the screams of nc courts and law enforcement for revenue from charging and arrests and incarceration.

    During Covid19: Social distancing is not possible in our prisons, and NC needs the revenue enough to risk invecting all the some 35k prisoners, a large no. of which are produced by MJ being over prosecuted. it is a miscarriage of justice and a waste of NC life leading to continuing prosecution for graduating charges. Prison is just another name for nothing left to lose. there is just complete lockdown. No continuing education; no library; no separate room for defense visits much less zoom interviews. Speedy trial is a dream. Discovery is like for General Flynn. Too many of those in our prisons are failed by our Public Schools. They are solid in their faith but holding on to not be broken in their lives. They have skills. They are like Dirty Dozen without a cause on permanent lock down. It’s like boot camp with no exit from barracks. NC National Guard could use more than a few of them. Not everyone was guilty as in Shaw Shank Redemption. Any solutions? Lots of possibilities. I’m sure everyone has good in them including NC Courts and law enforcement but not everyone is guilty. As Shelley Luther said after violating lock down order and opening her business in Dallas recently after being put in jail but being then released on abuse of power and over sentencing violations by the court there, “our courts are not fair and they need to be looked at”. Ditto here in NC. if hemp’s legit, you must acquit in NC (with prejudice). Courts are not fair in NC. Speedy Trial is a constitutional mandate lost to NC since our courts were revised in misunderstood voter referendum in 1966 and constitutional referendum that was misstated to voters in constitutional referendum in 1980 leading to Article IV, Section 22 misinterpreted to say only those with JD can be judges. Thanks for your thoughts and any solutions for NC.

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