Politics & Government

Is North Carolina ignoring science in its regulation of hemp?

Philip Boyer, director of operations at the Industrial Hemp Manufacturing Company in Spring Hope, NC, shows a stalk of kanaf from one of the bales that await processing at the facility on Oct. 28, 2015.
Philip Boyer, director of operations at the Industrial Hemp Manufacturing Company in Spring Hope, NC, shows a stalk of kanaf from one of the bales that await processing at the facility on Oct. 28, 2015. cseward@newsobserver.com

The N.C. House wants to put several additional regulations on the state’s newly legal hemp industry.

The regulations are part of a broader bill that passed the House 108-3 on Monday. The bill now goes to the Senate and could soon be law.

The push for tighter controls is based mostly on concerns that hemp farmers could use their plants – which look like marijuana but can’t get you high – to hide illegal marijuana growing operations.

Yet one legislator, Republican Rep. Larry Yarborough, said there’s almost no chance a criminal would want to do that.

If a marijuana plant “gets the pollen (from hemp) and goes to seed, it becomes worthless,” Yarborough said. “The THC goes away.”

PolitiFact NC reviewed research on the topic and spoke with scientists who have studied hemp, and rated Yarborough’s claim Mostly True. Read on to find out more about why no smart drug dealer would grow marijuana anywhere near hemp.

Speaker: Rep. Larry Yarborough

Claim: If you try to hide marijuana in a hemp field, "it becomes worthless. The THC goes away."

Ruling: The THC won’t completely go away, but scientists say it will be drastically reduced to the point where it will be difficult or impossible to get high from, and therefore basically worthless. We rate this claim Mostly True.

  Comments