RALEIGH — The North Carolina Farm Act of 2019, Senate Bill 315, would implement a state hemp program to be initially administered by the North Carolina Hemp Commission, which would be created by the act.
The act, as it currently reads, would allow the N.C. Hemp Commission to create rules for hemp development and farming in the state, including creating a mandated hemp cultivation license.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp — also known by its scientific name, cannabis sativa — after being signed into law in December 2018.
Previously, the crop has been federally illegal since the 1930s, along with its counterpart, marijuana, which is still illegal.
While both hemp and marijuana are grown from cannabis sativa seeds, hemp contains high concentrations of the chemical CBD — known as a cannabinoid — whereas marijuana contains high concentrations of THC, another cannabinoid. The concentrations of THC gives marijuana the high that users crave.
The hemp plant has numerous potential uses as food, fiber and medicine, including being used as rope an textiles. The CBD oils from the plant can be used for medical reasons and as an additive in food.
According to SB315, the state would follow federal regulations on hemp and its maximum allowable amount of 0.3 THC. Marijuana has several times that amount of THC.
In order to obtain a license, according to SB315, an applicant must furnish the N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture a bond of no less than $250,000. No license would be needed to handle hemp extracts.
‘Born-alive abortion survivors’ bill fails to become law
The controversial “born again survivors act” bill, Senate Bill 359, died in the N.C. House after a veto override vote didn’t meet the 60 percent threshold to become law on June 5.
The 67-53 vote in favor fell three votes short. All Republicans voted in favor while all Democrats, minus two, went against the measure.
SB359 said that any infant born alive after a botched abortion within a medical facility would have the same claim to protection of the law as any newborn.
Rep. Ray Russell (D-Boone) voted against the bill, saying current laws already protect newborn babies.
“SB359 was based on a false narrative, not grounded in medical science or fact,” Russell said in a June 5 statement. “Bill sponsors claimed that late-term abortions are performed in North Carolina where the baby survives but then is killed by medical professionals through neglect or active measures. Let me be clear: There is no evidence this has ever happened in North Carolina. Furthermore, if it did occur, four current federal and state felony laws already require medical professionals to provide appropriate care for all infants.”
House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) said North Carolinians will never forget the state’s Democrats voting against care of living for newborn babies.
Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed SB359 on April 18 after it passed the N.C. General Assembly, calling it needless legislation for a practice that does not exist.
The N.C. Senate voted to override Cooper’s veto on April 30 in a 30-20 vote, hitting the 60 percent threshold when one Senate Democrat voted “aye.” Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Blowing Rock) was a co-sponsor of the bill. Previously when the act originally passed the N.C. Senate in April, Ballard said that she was “a voice for what some Democrats said stood between a woman and her doctor — an infant born alive.”
Luke Weir contributed in reporting to this story.