The local hemp industry in South Carolina is affected by the state’s Hemp and CBD laws throughout the year. While sometimes it does have positive progress for the state, this time it did not benefit local hemp and CBD retailers nor the consumers of smokable hemp.
State Law enforcement Division (SLED) authorities are cracking down on CBD dispensaries and confiscating all kinds of smokable hemp products. This is greatly affecting their inventories and is leading to losses.
Smokable Hemp is illegal
The state attorney general’s office released their decision regarding the legality of CBD and Hemp products. On July 10th, the decision clarified the legal status of statewide action regarding the retail of these different products.
The hemp farming act of 2018 was a guidance map for this decision. It was unanimously passed by governor Henry Mcmaster in March, and it states that the possession of raw unprocessed hemp without retail in production license will be illegal. Those who found with the substance will suffer the consequences.
As well as that, a finished product needs to go through testing sampling, and unless it has gone through that phase, it will be considered an illegal substance. Moreover, the North Carolina house agriculture committee approves a bill that supports the ban against smokable hemp, making it a serious long term action.
While the State senate’s measures regarding the bill state that smokable hemp is illegal, the course of action against the product have been delayed all the way later in 2020. This is mostly because there is a difference between legal hemp products and marijuana.
Many hemp products have the approval for retail at different agents and dispensaries, as long as they have a 0.3% or a trace amount in terms of their THC content. THC or more commonly known as tetrahydrocannabinol and is the psychoactive element of hemp.
It is supposed to give you that ‘high’. Although, under the hemp farming act of 2018, it states that level should be below 0.3% so completely safe for consumption. This is the only legal way of trading hemp products, that too, with proper testing, sampling and product licensing.
More legal trouble
This is where the major difference between hemp products and marijuana comes in. The North Carolina bureau of investigation has its actions delayed as they have not come up with a proper system. This system needs to differentiate with hemp and marijuana during field tests.
Especially when it comes to spotting checking and crackdown at retail points. These field tests are similar to alcohol tests and will make it very easy to regulate illegal activity that runs with the cover of legal hemp.
The local criminalist states, “There’s no way to physically tell the difference between the two (marijuana and smokable hemp). ‘They look the same, smell the same and actually will test the same in our old methods.”
However, currently, the authorities require proper resources to develop field tests which will help put their plan into action. It is very important to hold people accountable for smokable marijuana. Thus the market for smokable hemp is getting affected in the near future.
However, until authorities come up with a quick and easy solution to administer the bill, the legal status of smokable hemp remains clear and completely legal.
Smokable Hemp is a profitable Hemp product
While the Hemp laws have been affecting the state market for CBD products, smokable hemp is one of the most profitable products for most CBD dispensaries and retail hemp points. It retails for 800$ for 1 pound of product.
More and more industries all over the country are investing in the product. This also sets the North Carolina hemp industry back a few steps. The state has almost a 1000 licensed farmers and cultivators with good climatic conditions for hemp growth.
It creates a lot of uncertainty for people who work in the hemp supply chain. A local worker for a CBD dispensary commented on the issue, stating, “We’re sitting around biting our nails waiting for what’s gonna happen next.”
However, such laws will hold back the farmers. While it currently produced their traditional cash crop; tobacco, hemp is an easy switch between the two. It increases profitability, use of resources, and keeps the investment to a minimal.
It is important that local laws support sunrise industries. Producer’s in North Carolina currently have 11,572 outdoor hemp acres and 4.5 million square feet of indoor hemp cultivation. This makes the state a leading contender- to be one of the biggest producers of industrial hemp.
It can also greatly invest in consumer products like smokable hemp. They are not only profitable for the producers but are growing popular due to their health benefits. It also has effects on mental health.