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There's been a lot of discussion about hemp recently, since the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal for farmers to grow industrial hemp for the first time since the passage of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (or, practically speaking, since the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act).
There are still quite a few restrictions and regulations associated with growing hemp, but the fact that hemp is now legal – while marijuana is not – has raised a lot of questions.
NC - State - College - Agriculture - Life
NC State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and NC State Extension, are engaged in a variety of research and educational programs related to hemp. That puts us in a position to help answer some of the most common hemp questions.
What's the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Hemp - Marijuana - Plant - Names - Genus
Hemp and marijuana are, taxonomically speaking, the same plant; they are different names for the same genus (Cannabis) and species.
"Hemp and marijuana even look and smell the same," says Tom Melton, deputy director of NC State Extension. "The difference is that hemp plants contain no more than 0.3 percent (by dry weight) of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. By comparison, marijuana typically contains 5 to 20 percent THC. You can't get high on hemp."
Words - Cannabis - Plants - Percent - THC
In other words, Cannabis plants with 0.3 percent or less of THC are hemp. Cannabis plants with more than 0.3 percent THC are marijuana.
Is it now legal to grow hemp in North Carolina?
It is legal to grow hemp, but you must be licensed.
In North Carolina, licenses must be approved by the state's Industrial Hemp Commission, which is affiliated with the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Licensed growers must abide by stringent regulations, including tests to ensure that the THC levels in any hemp remain at or below the limit of 0.3 percent.
Interest - Hemp
Why is there interest in growing hemp?
In short, the...
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