Industrial Hemp Is on the Horizon in North Carolina
North Carolina’s Industrial Hemp Commission has started working on a pilot program to foster hemp production in the state.
Industrial hemp can be used in a variety of ways for fiber and food, including carpeting, twine, paper, pasta, salad dressings and more. However, comparisons to its cousin, marijuana, have hindered production, though industrial hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects in marijuana.
Farmers grew industrial hemp in North Carolina in the 1800s and early 1900s, and the commission is hoping to revive the crop. Several other states and more than 30 nations currently grow it.
The N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission formed in 2015 with the responsibility to develop rules and a licensing structure for hemp production to help North Carolina stay within federal laws. A plan is in place for a 2017 crop, and the commission is also working on drafting rules for growers who want to participate in the pilot program.
Learn more about North Carolina’s Industrial Hemp Commission and the pilot program at ncagr.gov/hemp.
– Rachel Bertone