NC Senate passes bill expanding hemp industry, bill goes to House

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FILE – In this April 19, 2018, file photo, Seth Crawford, co-owner of Oregon CBD, displays hemp seeds being prepared for sale to industrial hemp farmers at his facility in Monmouth, Ore. A global hemp research lab announced Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Oregon, is part of a larger movement to bring the standardization to hemp that traditional crops like corn and cotton enjoy. (AP Photos/Gillian Flaccus, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation designed to further develop North Carolina’s fast-growing hemp industry, increase agritourism and make it easier for industrial-scale hog farms to overhaul their open-air waste storage systems has cleared the state Senate.

The legislature’s annual “Farm Act” passed on Monday after floor debate by a 31-14 vote. It now goes to the House.

The bill’s proposed ban on smokable hemp in December 2020 has received a lot of attention during committee debates.

Smokable hemp doesn’t produce a high, but it looks and smells a lot like marijuana, which law enforcement says is a problem. Many hemp farmers in the state have previously spoken up against the ban and say smokable hemp can sell for as much as $1,000 per pound.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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