How Personal Tragedy Transformed North Carolina Man Into Medical Cannabis Activist

By Chris Suttle

Most of us can still recall the more lucid moments of our 21st birthday.  The ones that ended up splashing into a well of alcoholic memory loss like the cubes of ice in that final drink were likely captured on film by your friends. For me, I spent my 21st birthday alone, celebrating my graduation from a walker to a cane.  2 years prior I was unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a distracted drivers worst fear. I was hit standing next to my bike by a runaway driver at 60 mph. I was thrown in the air a good 4 feet before somehow landing upright with a loud “snap” ringing in my ears. I turned my head just in time to see their taillights crossing the small bridge by the Channel Bass Restaurant on Hatteras Island, North Carolina.

I screamed at the few passing cars still on the road after 9 pm in a town of only 1200 people.  I think it was something along the lines of “I’ve been hit!  Why are you not stopping?!”  I managed to focus my now crimson tainted vision on the stop sign in front of the famous Hatterasman Drive In and started repeating “left foot, right foot, left foot right foot,” until I reached the hood of a strangers car. I cried out as loudly as I could “Please call my Dad” before I blacked out.

I awoke to a flood of flashing lights and familiar faces flat on my back covered in wool blankets. A team of volunteer firemen began to lift me just enough to slide a wooden bodyboard under me until the EMT’s arrived with a gurney. I remember hearing the voice of our local Methodist Minister praying for me to have safe and swift passage to the closet hospital. It was, in retrospect a pretty important prayer at that moment since the closest true medical facility was over 2 ½ hours away in Chesapeake VA.

The last thing I remember clearly was the excruciating pain of being strapped to a gurney in an ambulance as it went as quickly as possible over the numerous railroad tracks that exist between Hatteras Village and Chesapeake General. If you’re wondering, in 1998 that number was four, two of which are less than a few feet apart. I managed to stay conscious for 1 ½ of them.

The total damage?  Three hairline fractures in my spine, all inoperable due to my age and the continuing formation of my growth plates, severed hip muscle on the right side, massive bruising to the abdominal wall resulting in numerous tears and a ringing in my head that will stop the same day my heart does.

My treatment options were limited due to the youthful age of my skeletal structure and I was discharged after two weeks with a list of medications and a lot of couch time in my future. One of the main medications is our old friend OxyContin. I took one, one single pill and 6 hours later I threw the rest of them away. It wasn’t due to a lack of effectiveness, but said potency brought me to the realization that the false euphoria I felt would be my chasing the dragon for the remainder of my adult life if I ever took a second pill.

So now I do, what?  Stay in constant pain the remainder of my recovery along with the life long pain a massive trauma can possibly leave, or disassociate from reality by means of more pills until my body succumbs to kidney failure at, if I’m lucky, 35.  Not great choices so I went with plan B: weed.

How I came to know of the medicinal properties of cannabis prior to the legal age of 21 will have to remain one of those rum induced campfire stories I tell my closest compatriots so let’s just say I had an associate degree in growing your own weed around the same time I enrolled in an associate degree at Chowan University in 1996. The knowledge I gained allowed me to treat my pain during the most crucial times of my recovery which allowed my body to stay still and do what it needed to do best at that time, rest.

It was a lot of counting flowers on the wall moments, the kind that toy at your sanity like a cat would a feather toy. I pulled through, somewhat, recovering mostly from the majority of my injuries except for one small hairline fracture at the base of my spine.

I’ll fast forward for you and say the shelf life on that fracture should have read “expires” 2004 because that’s when my back broke and took a good majority of the nerves near the base of my spine with it. 3 disk had to be removed total and something called lumber displacement surgery had to be performed for me to regain feeling in about 60% of my body.

What’s the point of this long-winded origin story and what does it have to do with medicinal cannabis?  Cannabis is the only thing I used for pain management during the entire length of my recovery, and to this day it’s my preferred method of dealing with degenerative osteoarthritis.

Current laws in NC define me as I a criminal for choosing to manage my chronic pain with cannabis.  And while the outlaw life is fun when you’re 26, not so much at 44. There have been times where due to lack of supply or the inability to grow my own, I have had to fall back on prescription pain management options excluding OxyContin.

That is why the fight for cannabis legalization is so important to me. That is why I work 18 hour shifts, six days a week. When I’m not at the NCGA I’m delivering for Postmates, or doing my stupid human trick of breathing fire in front of strangers for money. All of my work as a citizen advocate for the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis in NC is pro Bono. So my car is my office and I call to set appointments with Senators and Representatives in between Postmates deliveries and spend every Tuesday and Thursday for the remainder of my foreseeable future in the halls of the Legislative offices. Here’s the general tone of that brick and mortar building I know lovingly call a second home.

A recent poll released by Elon University shows that 68% of NC is in favor of cannabis legalization.  Despite this and numerous other polls, medical research and scientific data showing the numerous benefits to both the people and the economy of NC, the NCGA continues to be a challenging place to find allies, especially in the House.

There is hope, regardless of the ancient “Reefer Madness” inspired mentality that still exists within the walls of the NCGA. With each new citizen advocate that signs up for the free training at NCNORML.org the winds of change grow, their speed increasing past Gail force winds to a full-blown hurricane. Every day another strip of siding is blown off the side of the NCGA building as NC citizen advocates flood the hallways of the Legislative offices armed with the latest scientific and medical research available to educate and hopefully change the hearts and minds of the NC Legislature.

NC is a “Dillon’s Rule” State. The definition of “Dillon’s Rule” is longer and more boring than I would wish the reader to suffer through so to keep it short and simple; no citizen can introduce a bill to the NCGA through petition or citizen initiative, only the elected individuals that make up the NCGA can.

That’s where the citizen advocacy program comes in. Thanks to the mentorship of an experienced retired lobbyist and the amazing support of the other pro Bono volunteers at NC NORML, they have created a free training program on how to become an effective advocate for cannabis legalization that is available to any and all North Carolinians.  Orientation dates for the program can be found on the website or by following @NC_NORML on Twitter.

Is it effective?  Let’s look at one of the most historic days in the NCGA history which occurred on April 7th of this year. 7 different bills regarding medicinal cannabis and even full legalization for NC were filed. A bill for the legalization of medicinal cannabis has appeared in some form or fashion for the past five years, but never seven in the same day.  Two more were introduced on April 12th as well bringing the total to 9 bills for the 2021 legislative session

The people have spoken before, but now their voice is amplified by the recent increase in citizen advocacy in our state. There’s a hurricane coming NC, and it’s eye is headed directly for the NCGA. It’s time to help or move to higher ground because the flood waters will continue to rise and we will never stop until North Carolinians are free to pursue the same civil liberties as other citizens of this great nation in regards to cannabis use. Hold fast NC, change is coming and it has a name, SB Bill 711, The NC Compassionate Care Act.

Every journey begins with a momentous first step or, in this case the first swirls of a cold front that causes concern amongst meteorologists.  Keep an eye on that front and before 2021 is over that calm felt in the air after a hurricane passes, familiar to any coastal residents in NC, could be made even calmer with the help of some legal medicinal cannabis for the many people being forced to suffer in the dark. 2021 may seem ambitious, but so was my desire to walk again in my doctor’s eyes.

Not only did I walk again, but I continued a passion I had for stage combat and even performed as Blackbeard in an internationally known pirate sword fighting comedy show in my hometown, twice. I was featured in a Tarheel Travelers episode on WRAL as Blackbeard in the Ocracoke Pirate Jamboree festival and it’s still on their website at www.wral.com if any of you readers need a visual.

Will medicinal legalization happen in 2021 for NC?  Nothing says it can’t but a more realistic date is 2023. Regardless of when it does happen, the continued work of citizen advocates will be crucial to the future of cannabis in NC.

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.

 

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. To Grow 3,000 Acres Of Industrial Hemp In North Carolina In 2017

NORTH CAROLINA:  Hemp, Inc. has informed its shareholders that its wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC, in Spring Hope, NC, has signed a Letter of Intent  with Mullen View Farms and one with John Finch Farms in North Carolina. According to the signed LOI with Mullen View Farms, IHM will purchase 1,000 acres of raw hemp that is to be harvested at various locations throughout eastern North Carolina, this year. The signed LOI with John Finch Farms stipulates IHM shall purchase 500 acres of raw hemp stock from John Finch Farms. As with Mullen View Farms, the raw hemp is to be harvested at various locations throughout eastern North Carolina, this year.

With these LOIs, Hemp, Inc. now have a little over 3,000 acres of hemp growing. “We are really excited to be working with Mullen View and John Finch Farms. Mullen View Farms owns a huge warehouse, where we currently store some of our kenaf bales, not too far from our industrial hemp processing facility and wants to grow an additional 30,000 acres of industrial hemp for us in the near future. John Finch Farms has grown 200 acres of kenaf (hibiscus cannabinus, a cousin plant to industrial hemp) for us already,” says David Schmitt, COO of Hemp, Inc.’s subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC. Schmitt also mentioned John Finch received the National Supervisor of the Year Award, last year, during the NC Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts 71st Annual Meeting.

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. said, “We are proud to collaborate with other American industrial hemp farmers as we now become part of the modern industrial hemp farming movement. This is a turning point for America and it’s a turning point for Hemp, Inc. Hemp, Inc. has the infrastructure in place to process millions of pounds of hemp fibers and stalks a year, on a commercial level. Our 70,000 square foot industrial hemp processing facility, on over 9 acres in Spring Hope, North Carolina, is the only one of this magnitude in North America. The industrial hemp crop is part of history in the making and it is something that will prove to be lucrative not only for the farmers in North Carolina but for Hemp, Inc. as well.”

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.