Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilitySBI proposes changes in state hemp laws | WLOS
Close Alert

SBI proposes changes in state hemp laws to clear up confusion

Photo credit: WLOS staff
Photo credit: WLOS staff
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

State law enforcement is pushing for tougher laws to clear up confusion over hemp and marijuana.

They said it is difficult for officers to tell the difference. The State Bureau of Investigation said that confusion can make it harder to make an arrest and get a conviction on pot charges.

The agency was asking for changes to North Carolina's newest farm act.

Committee members planned to vote Wednesday on the bill, and it could impact the future of hemp in the state.

"It looks very much like its party cousin," Jeff Tacy, co-owner of Franny’s Farmacy, said.

But marijuana is not the same as hemp. Unlike marijuana, hemp does not have enough of the psychoactive compound THC to get you high.

Jeff, and his wife Franny Tacy, make that very clear.

"We got our legal disclaimer on [the package], and then we've got our QR code and a very recognized brand, so that if someone wanted to call one of our dispensaries and confirm that this was recently purchased there, we'd be able to confirm that for them," Jeff said.

For some law enforcement, it is difficult for them to tell the difference. So, they are asking lawmakers to outlaw hemp with “buds” that look like marijuana.

Ashley Welch, a district attorney in the mountains, said law enforcement is not the only ones confused.

"It's hard for us to prove in front of a jury the difference between the two, because the SBI lab is not analyzing the marijuana or the hemp to THC quantities," Welch said.

Welch said, at least for prosecutors, analyzing THC quantities could be one solution.

"We could actually prove that it was marijuana and not hemp," Welch said.

Meanwhile, the Tacys continued providing other solutions to help protect customers, law enforcement and the hemp industry.

"It's been effective and over a year of selling flower this way with this packaging and giving every customer a receipt and a little bit of education, I have yet to hear of a case of anybody that's had a brush with the law based on this type of packaging and handling of the product," Jeff said.

Comment bubble

The next vote on the farm bill could be next Wednesday, but would have to pass three more committees before hitting the Senate floor.

Loading ...