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Lawmakers delay proposed ban on smokable hemp

May 30, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A proposed ban on smokable hemp has North Carolina farmers worried as the state Senate agriculture committee considers legislation that would expand industrial hemp farming, which was originally established as a pilot program in 2015.

Farmers argued at a hearing Thursday that banning smokable hemp would hurt the lucrative hemp industry at a time where many farmers in the traditional tobacco-farming state are struggling due to hurricanes and decreased tobacco prices.

But the State Bureau of Investigation pushed to ban smokable hemp, saying it’s difficult for law enforcement to discern smokable hemp from marijuana.

Lawmakers amended the bill to delay the smokable hemp ban until Dec. 1, 2020, giving them time to figure out how to regulate the fast-growing industry. The committee plans to vote on the bill next week.

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