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After legislative changes, what's next for the hemp industry in NC

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At the end of June, shortly before it was set to become illegal, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation legalizing the sale and production of hemp and CBD.

Hemp can be used for a variety of things, from food and drink to commercial items to medical products.

North Carolina had been under a pilot program for hemp for the last several years. According to state estimates, over that time about 1,500 people worked in the hemp industry in North Carolina. That program sunset at the end of June, meaning hemp production is now governed by the USDA.

Meanwhile, a bill legalizing medical marijuana passed in the NC Senate in 2022, but stalled in the House. Polling shows a majority of voters are in favor of legalization.

Mike Collins and our panel of guests take a look at how productive the hemp industry has been since it was legalized, what it means for farmers, and whether this impacts potential marijuana legalization down the line.

GUESTS

Rod Kight, hemp, CBD, and marijuana lawyer

Bert James, agronomist and hemp farmer in eastern North Carolina

Dr. Guochen Yang, professor and graduate program coordinator at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design and oversight coordinator of the university hemp program at North Carolina A&T

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Gabe Altieri is a Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Prior to joining WFAE in 2022, he worked for WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York.