SOUTH CAROLINA: A bill making its way through the South Carolina Statehouse would legalize growing industrial hemp in the state. Hemp is the same species of plant as marijuana, so it was outlawed when marijuana was.
But botanist Dr. John Nelson at the University of South Carolina Herbarium says, “There’s definitely a genetic difference between the industrial fiber source and what people are growing for the drug use, whether it’s legal or illegal. The thing is, it’s the same species but there can be some pretty profound genetic differences.”
Hemp contains only small amounts of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the mind-altering chemical found in marijuana. Dr. Nelson says, “If there was a field of this industrial hemp plant, you can’t really get high from smoking that anyway, just because there’s not much of the compound within the foliage.”