North Carolina Task Force For Racial Equity In Criminal Justice Makes Marijuana Recommendations

NORTH CAROLINA:  Attorney General Josh Stein announced that the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, convened by Gov. Roy Cooper and co-chaired by Justice Anita Earls and the attorney general, adopted recommendations related to marijuana today. Those include a recommendation to decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts and to further study potential legalization of marijuana possession, cultivation, and sale.

“You cannot talk about improving racial equity in our criminal justice system without talking about marijuana,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “White and Black North Carolinians use marijuana at similar rates, yet Black people are disproportionately arrested and sentenced. Additionally, it is time for North Carolina to start having real conversations about a safe, measured, public health approach to potentially legalizing marijuana.”

“Data made available to the Task Force shows that 63 percent of the more than 10,000 convictions for simple possession of marijuana last year in North Carolina are people of color even though they are only 30 percent of the population and research documents that marijuana use is at roughly equal percentages among Black and white populations,” said Justice Anita Earls. “This recommendation is intended to help alleviate racial disparities in North Carolina’s criminal justice system.”

Marijuana In NC Today

Right now, possession of up to ½ ounce of marijuana is a class 3 misdemeanor, not subject to imprisonment but subject to a fine up to $200. In 2019, there were 31,287 charges and 8,520 convictions for this offense; 61 percent of those convicted were nonwhite.

Possession of more than ½ ounce up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a class 1 misdemeanor, subject to up to 45 days imprisonment and a $200 fine. In 2019, there were 3,422 charges and 1,909 convictions for this offense; 70 percent of those convicted were nonwhite.

Today’s recommendations:

  • The Task Force recommends legislation to decriminalize the possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana by making such possession a civil offense and expunge past convictions through an automatic process.
  • The Task Force further recommends that North Carolina convene a Task Force of stakeholders, free from conflict of interest, to study the pros and cons and options for legalization of possession, cultivation and/or sale, including government or not for profit monopoly options. The study should be guided by a public safety, public health, and racial equity framework.
  • Improve drug enforcement data collection and reporting by:
    • Requiring every law enforcement agency to participate fully in the NIBRS system
    • Requiring every law enforcement agency to publish drug enforcement data on its department website in easy searchable fashion, including number of arrests and citations by drug, quantity, race, gender, and reason for search. This may necessitate providing additional resources to law enforcement agencies, especially smaller agencies.
  • Deemphasize (or make the lowest drug law enforcement priority) felony drug possession arrests for trace quantities under .25 grams in non-ABC permitted locations.
  • Deemphasize (or make the lowest drug law enforcement priority) marijuana possession arrests in non-ABC permitted locations.
  • Prosecutors should immediately deprioritize marijuana-related prosecution in non-ABC permitted locations.

Task Force Next Steps

The Task Force will release its full recommendations in a report to Gov. Roy Cooper on Dec. 15, 2020. That date has been extended from Dec. 1 due to difficulty holding meetings and conducting work as a result of the pandemic. To view today’s public meeting, please visit the North Carolina Department of Justice’s YouTube channel. Information on previous recommendations and other Task Force action is available at https://ncdoj.gov/trec/.

Asheville Hemp Project Announces New Product Line, Support For NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund

NORTH CAROLINA:  Asheville Hemp Project (AHP), an Asheville, NC-based hemp cultivator, is announcing its new product line. The company is also announcing that it is donating 50% of online sales to the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.

Leslie Hoffman, co-founder of AHP, stated, “We are very excited about our new product offerings that are coming onto the market at this time. We are also very concerned about the fate of our community during the pandemic. Much of the economy of the greater Asheville area relies on the hospitality sector, and with all non-essential businesses closed, most restaurant workers are staying home with no idea of when, or if, they will have their jobs again. For that reason, we are contributing 50% of every purchase to the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.”

The AHP tagline is “Take a Moment: Look Inward, Look Outward, Look Homeward.” Thomas Wolfe wrote Look Homeward, Angel about Asheville in 1929, and we have taken home to reference not only a safe physical place, but also a calm, restful, comfort that we all need. Our CBD products soothe and satisfy and provide an aid in these stressful times.

AHP is bringing four new products to market, each designed to fill a niche space in the consumer market.

Pre-Rolls: Grown on the AHP farm – premium hemp flower is consistently rolled in unbleached hemp paper with a unique biodegradable crutch. No need to filter out the reason you smoke. Immediate beneficial effect, and also a great way to ease off tobacco and nicotine. This 10-pack always ensures having a soothing and relaxing smoke on hand. 100mg CBD in each pre-roll provides  a smoke on hand at all times. <.3% THC.

AHP Extract: Straight from the AHP farm, this full spectrum hemp extract is in a 1 oz (30ml) tamper-proof bottle with calibrated dropper. The extract is available in 1000 mg and 1500 mg options. The CBD is blended with olive oil to provide a high quality dose of CBD in a pleasing flavor that mixes with food easily. <.3% THC.

Lip Balm: AHP’s Organic Hemp Lip Balm is formulated to be ultra-soothing and nutrient rich. Made with certified organic ingredients, such as hemp oil, sunflower oil, and beeswax, the lip balm provides all-natural protection. THC and CBD free.

Gum: AHP gum has been formulated to provide the quickest — and perfectly dosed — release of CBD, with increased bio-availability. The convenient sealed package protects freshness and enables the most discreet way to consume at any time. 8 pieces/pk, 10mg CBD in each piece, and THC free.

About NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund

The NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund has been established and is managed through the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that has provided financial assistance to hospitality employees and students for more than a decade.

The goal of the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund is to provide immediate financial assistance to the tens of thousands of cooks, servers, dishwashers, housekeepers, and others who live paycheck-to-paycheck, and suddenly find themselves in distress.

For more information visit the Fund’s website at https://www.ncrestaurantrelief.com

Asheville Hemp Project Launches CBD Infused Gum

First Product from Asheville Hemp Project Brand Highly Efficiency Delivery Method

NORTH CAROLINA: Asheville Hemp Project (AHP), an Asheville, NC-based hemp cultivator, is unveiling its new CBD Mint Gum. The launch marks the first consumer product for the brand, with other SKU’s in the pipeline. Asheville Hemp Project aims to connect consumers to the source of the natural plant, and their own inner nature.

The brand reminds us of the calming effect that nature provides, with a view through an open-slatted tobacco barn imprint. AHP selected gum as the first product to introduce because of its super-efficient delivery of CBD. Each piece of AHP’s CBD Mint Gum contains 10 milligrams of CBD and comes in a convenient foil pack that maximizes freshness and improves product protection and dispensing. AHP Gum is available for sale in the U.S. via the Company’s online store and at retailers including boutique food markets, CBD dispensaries, gas stations and smoke shops, and soon in sports emporiums and golf pro shops. A single pack containing 8 pieces sells for $19.90 online.

Leslie Hoffman, co-founder of AHP, stated, “This is our first consumer product, and we are excited about its potential. It delivers hemp-derived cannabinoids most efficiently through mucosa glands being activated by the chewing of the gum. Our gum enhances wellness for anyone who can benefit from CBD – and delivers it in a refreshing ‘normal’ format that is as discreet as it gets.”

CBD Mint Gum

Users include those with busy modern (and sometimes stressful) lives or those who need to lessen arthritis and joint pain or need better sleep. Sports aficionados might find that they can focus more intently or diminish the inflammation that sometimes follows a strenuous workout.”

Hoffman continued, “We intend to follow up with the launch of our CBD premium pre-rolls which will be unfiltered to ensure the consumer ingests the cannabinoids. Further, we have plans for releasing a CBD tincture. The number of potential products is enormous.”

Transitioning to the 21st Century Economy

Hoffman, whose pedigree in the cannabis industry includes farming, a hemp fashion business, and work in medical cannabis, formed Asheville Hemp Project in 2017 with co-founder, Scott Brinkley, a scientist and grower. Hoffman was a pioneer in sustainability and was previously a designer and builder of green construction projects.

The two saw an opportunity in North Carolina where tobacco had once been king. The agricultural and processing infrastructure for tobacco is well-suited to the cultivation and production of hemp.

Hoffman said, “The equipment and buildings needed to grow and dry the leaves, and the factories for rolling cigarettes already exist and are under-utilized. The workforce has the requisite skills to produce high quality products. The difference is the plant. Hemp is vastly more useful than tobacco. We aim to share a point of view, a connection to nature, and our understanding of the plant and its many uses. And so, we expanded our activities beyond the farm.”

She added, “Asheville has a reputation as an epicenter for craft cuisine and breweries. The region’s old tobacco farms are benefitting as they are revitalized by a thriving hemp farming community. Our brand’s tagline is Look Homeward, a reference to Thomas Wolfe’s famous book written in Asheville and set there, called Look Homeward, Angel. We believe this is the right business, with the right values, operating in the right place at the right time.”

Asheville Hemp Project’s base is a 23-acre hemp farm outside of the small city of Asheville, North Carolina nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains.

“This is where our experience grows, thoughts and ideas turn into new product innovations,” Brinkley states. “We work with other local farmers and processors in developing new products and establishing new markets. The vacuum tobacco left behind provides an atmosphere for us to all work together to build the hemp industry. As a community, we can do more and do it better.”

Level Brands Closes Acquisition Of cbdMD

Purchase Price Sets Revenue Targets At $300 Million Within Five Years

NORTH CAROLINA: Level Brands announced today that it has closed its acquisition of Cure Based Development, the owner of the nationally recognized consumer brand cbdMD in an all-stock transaction. cbdMD is a consumer products brand offering a large selection of cbdMD branded CBD products primarily through its ecommerce website, www.cbdMD.com, as well as through 700 current third party retail locations. cbdMD manufactures its premium line of products at its Charlotte, NC facility using 100%, all-natural CBD extracted from organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free industrial hemp grown in the USA.

cbdmdIn consideration of the purchase price, Level Brands will issue 15,250,000 shares of its common stock and it may issue up to an additional 15,250,000 shares during the first 60 months if revenue milestones aggregating $300 million are achieved. The revenue milestones are targeted at $20 million in the first 12 months, $40 million in the next twelve months, $80 million in the next 18 months and $160 million in the final 18 months.

“With the acquisition of cbdMD, I believe Level Brands now becomes one of the leading CBD consumer companies in America. The cbdMD brand has shown consistent month-over-month double-digit growth rates and, with the capital we have available, we believe we can significantly accelerate the revenue growth and execute on an aggressive expansion and brand positioning plan which should yield continued significant growth rates. Now that the Farm Bill has been approved, and CBD will no longer be listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, we believe the CBD market should drastically expand. CBD products will now have access to retailers nationwide, as well as through online channels. In addition, the passage of this legislation should help CBD gain mainstream consumer acceptance. We believe cbdMD will significantly gain market share in this growing industry,” said Martin Sumichrast, Chairman and CEO of Level Brands.

“I was first introduced to CBD as a consumer and it really worked for me. Since launching the company, our goal has been to bring a unique product to our loyal customers with the goal of enhancing their overall quality of life and providing education and awareness to the potential benefits of CBD. In the process, we expect to build cbdMD into the leading CBD brand. We have built a reputation as a premier manufacturer of high-quality products at a very affordable price, giving our customers a great value. Now with the passage of the Farm Bill, we expect not only that our business will expand as major retail chains start to carry CBD, but also this mass retail acceptance will encourage a larger customer base who will want to try our products. In addition, our access to athletes and the sporting world should enhance the marketability of our products,” said Scott Coffman, the Founder and CEO of cbdMD.

cbdMD’s founder is Scott Coffman, the founder of Blu-Ecig. Mr. Coffman started Blu and sold it to Lorillard Tobacco for $135 million. Mr. Coffman, who will join Level Brands’ Board and will continue as CEO of cbdMD, will be a significant shareholder of Level Brands.

“While our products are currently in over 700 retail outlets in the U.S. and we are gearing up to expand our retail footprint, we also believe in growing our e-commerce channel. We believe we will separate ourselves from our competitors through our unique online marketing campaigns. Since CBD is generally recognized as being most effective when you take it regularly, our online re-order programs provide an easy, cost effective way to get our products to our customers,” said Caryn Dunayer, President of cbdMD.

 

Level Brands And Isodiol Strike Multimillion-Dollar CBD Products Deal

NORTH CAROLINA: Level Brands has announced a licensing agreement with Vancouver-based Isodiol International to develop consumer products for kathy ireland® Health & Wellness, a licensor to Level Brands, and for Level Brands subsidiary I’M1, the company’s lifestyle brand for men.

According to a company press release, Level Brands will receive an initial US$2 million payment in the form of Isodiol shares and initial cash payments of US$62,500 due at execution of the licensing agreement and on June 30, 2018. During the term of the agreement Level will also receive US$750,000 per quarter in the form of Isodiol shares and a 3% royalty on all gross sales of branded products. The contract term is for an initial five years. Marketing materials were designed and filmed in December 2017 and both parties intend to finalize all points of the negotiations no later than January 31, 2018.

“Isodiol is an innovative, progressive and pioneering company,” says Kathy Ireland, Level Brands’ Chairman Emeritus and Chief Brand Strategist. License Global magazine names Ireland one of the 19 most influential women in the licensing industry, Ireland is the subject of multiple Forbes magazine covers, domestic and international, and Furniture Today magazine names Ireland the 18th most influential leader in the furniture industry.

“Isodiol’s success in CBD products derived from hemp are 99%+ pure, bioactive and pharmaceutical grade. The products include body balm, tincture, skincare, nano-mist and functional beverages. One of the many responsibilities in this new venture is, for me personally, to serve as Educator in Chief about cannabidiol, and how it is used by Isodiol. This company is leading the strategy of appropriate uses of hemp derivatives, and Isodiol products are free of THC. It’s ironic that people find controversy in the powerfully useful hemp plant. Without THC, hemp has many natural and important uses, which are beneficial in countless ways. We need people to please understand, that hemp, without THC, is similar to a grape without fermentation. What the Isodiol team has done is, bring the best qualities of hemp-derived CBD to the market without any psychotropic element, whatsoever. This is the second product for kathy ireland® Health & Wellness, licensed by Level Brands, and we welcome the Isodiol team to our family at Level.”

Hemp, Inc.’s Industrial Hemp Processing Facility In North Carolina Operational

NORTH CAROLINA: Hemp, Inc. announced that after 3 1/2 years, millions of dollars spent on purchasing, disassembling, transporting, reassembling, rebuilding, refurbishing, beta testing and debugging, the largest multipurpose industrial hemp processing facility in the Western Hemisphere is now operational and is processing its first product.

The milestone coincides with the company’s installation of its NuAxon Tech CO2 Supercritical Extractor, the planting of hundreds of acres of industrial hemp and high CBD hemp in North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon and the successful establishment and ongoing monthly hemp educational seminars via The Hemp University at Louisburg College in Louisburg, North Carolina. Executives were ecstatic to see the mill processing and packaging for the first time after a laborious 3+ years.

To see the Hemp, Inc. mill in operation and processing product, visit Bruce Perlowin’s personal Facebook page and scroll down to Aug. 8, 2017 and Aug. 1, 2017.

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. ( OTC PINK : HEMP ) stated, “We will now begin marketing efforts in earnest. However, we have some very huge, potential orders that we have been in discussion with lately including one very large company that wants to purchase the entire productive capacity of our mill’s capabilities including expanding to double or triple its current capacity.”

According to David Schmitt, COO of Hemp, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC, the company will stop processing for about half a day to build a frame to support the super sack. “The steel just arrived late yesterday afternoon. We should have that done today and be wide open by Thursday or Friday,” says Schmitt.

North Carolina Farmers Race To Plant Industrial Hemp aka “Carolina Gold”

NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina farmers are picking up the pace in planting what they believe will be the next cash crop… industrial hemp. The “Carolina Gold,” as one North Carolina fourth generation farmer referred to industrial hemp, is expected to bring in a huge potential source of income among farmers in the state. Thus far, Hemp, Inc.’s licensed farming associates in North Carolina have secured over 150 pounds of CBD-rich hemp seeds which are currently being planted in order to be harvested by September/October. CEO of Hemp, Inc. Bruce Perlowin says that amount of CBD-rich hemp seeds along with the 17 acres of high-CBD clones they are planting in North Carolina and Colorado will be one of, or, the largest CBD hemp grows in the United States (approximately 550 acres total).

“Since North Carolina farmers can source domestic seed for planting industrial hemp, it’s almost a race in the Tar Heel state to see who can get the seeds and the clones in the ground first. Everyone wants to try their hand at the lucrative crop. And with Hemp, Inc.’s Hemp University educational symposiums, teaching farmers how to grow hemp for profit, the learning curve isn’t as massive as it once was,” said Perlowin.

As announced in Hemp, Inc.’s last press release, the company has already purchased its first industrial NuAxon Tech CO2 Supercritical extractor from NuAxon BioScience, the manufacturer and producer of the world class, large capacity CO2 Supercritical Extraction equipment. With the industry’s expanding CBD market and ever-increasing consumer CBD sales over the past few years, executives are set to purchase its second CBD Extractor this year as well. The Hemp Business Journal projects the CBD market will “grow to a $2.1 billion market in consumer sales by 2020 with $450-million of those sales coming from hemp-based sources.” David Schmitt, COO of Hemp, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC (IHM), has been researching CBD extraction methods and manufacturers for the past 2 years and feels confident Hemp, Inc. will greatly benefit from the in-house CBD extraction method.

North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission Now Accepting Applications to Grow Industrial Hemp

NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission (NCIHC) is accepting applications for its pilot program to grow industrial hemp for research in North Carolina. The application process is open to farmers who can show evidence of income from a farming operation. With such a high level of interest in growing hemp in North Carolina, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said NCIHC worked diligently and quickly to establish temporary rules before the 2017 planting season. “There has been considerable interest in this program, and we expect a good number of farmers to apply for licenses.”  To obtain an application, go online click on the application link. There is no deadline to apply for this pilot program.

David Schmitt, COO of Hemp, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC said during an interview with editor Keith Barnes that IHM has already committed to just over 3,000 acres of industrial hemp for the 2017 crop. Schmitt has already signed Letters of Intent with numerous farmers and is expecting to have all contracts for the 2017 growing season finalized within the next 30 days, contingent on the farmers receiving their license from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

State agriculture agents will monitor and test the hemp crops to make sure they do not contain more than .30% THC. Industrial hemp growers will have to report each acre to the state and give precise locations using GPS.

In addition to showing evidence of income from a farming operation, applicants are also expected to pay an annual fee, provide a written statement of the research objective, and must provide access for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Plant Industry Division and law enforcement for sampling in the field or in storage.

Approved applicants will be granted a license that will allow the holder to plant, harvest and market the crop. Individual licenses can be for one year or three years. Applications are currently being reviewed by NCIHC. On Monday of this week, the commission held a conference call to review and approve applications that were received through March 10, 2017.

Hemp, Inc. Announces Plans To Cultivate 50 Acres Of Industrial Hemp In Spring 2017

NORTH CAROLINA: Hemp, Inc. executives report that its wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing in Spring Hope, North Carolina is set to grow 50 acres of industrial hemp next door to their NC processing plant in the Spring of 2017.

According to a company news release, the Spring planting of industrial hemp hinges on the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission (NCIHC) establishing the rules and regulations for the state’s agriculture program to grow or cultivate industrial hemp. While the Commission has not yet announced a date of when the rules and regulations will be established or released, farmers across the state are hopeful it will be in time to plant hemp during the Spring next year. With more families “going green,” farmers see more lucrative opportunity in the environmentally sustainable hemp crop than with any other crop.

Hemp Inc CEO Bruce Perlowin said, “Not only are we excited at the possibility to grow our own 50 acres of hemp in the Spring, we are also partnering with land owners and farmers across North Carolina to grow hemp, such as the 1,500 acres we announced in a previous press release, while we complete the final stage of bringing our multi-purpose industrial hemp facility in North Carolina online. We’ve planted Kenaf successfully. Now we are ready for hemp.”

To see the video of America’s largest hemp processing facility (70,000 square feet under roof, on 9 acres) and 60-foot silo installation, click here.

While the company is looking forward to growing hemp on its 50 acres, Perlowin said the company will continue to plant Kenaf in 2017 if the Commission has not set official procedures in place by the Spring. “This year, we are growing 420 acres of Kenaf in several counties in North Carolina… providing revenues to several farmers throughout the state,” said Perlowin.

North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission Holds Its First Meeting

NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission (NCIHC) held its first official meeting on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, marking a significant milestone for N.C.’s industrial hemp industry. The meeting, held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, sought “to establish an agricultural pilot program for the cultivation of industrial hemp in the State.” The 9-member Commission is tasked with establishing the rules and regulations for the state’s agricultural program to grow or cultivate industrial hemp, pursuing permits or waivers from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency or any other federal agency as necessary, issuing licenses in order to cultivate industrial hemp for commercial purposes (to the extent allowed by federal law), laying out an administrative support system for the process of submitting applications and other tasks.

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. said, “Yesterday was a historic moment for North Carolina. We had the pleasure of attending NCIHC’s first meeting to take a comprehensive look of how the newly operative Commission will begin to establish its rules and regulations. I’ve gone to numerous meetings similar to this, all over America, over the past 8 years and I’ve never experienced such a huge turnout. I expected to see maybe, at max, 20 or 30 people. To my surprise, this first meeting attracted nearly 200 or more people and at least 60 people signed up to make a public statement. Everyone showed so much enthusiasm and were looking forward to the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission to make North Carolina one of the leaders in industrial hemp production. In fact, the head of the Commission said the idea is to make North Carolina the leading hemp growing state in the nation. I believe North Carolina is poised to be the leading hemp growing state in North America.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the 9-member Commission consists of: Sandy Stewart, Vice Chair (Commissioner’s designee); Pat Short (Ag appointed); Fen Rascoe (Ag appointed); Billy McLawhorn (Ag appointed); Guy Carpenter (Ag appointed); Chief Tony Godwin, Town of Cary (Senate); Sheriff Sam Page, Rockingham County (House appointed); Prof. Tom Melton, NCSU (Governor appointed); and, Dr. Guochen Yang, NC A&T State University (Governor appointed). The 3 – 4-hour public meeting convened local farmers, agriculturists, and other industry related professionals.