RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Lawmakers are looking to regulate a budding hemp industry in North Carolina and ban any hemp products from school grounds.
In recent years, thousands of businesses and growers in North Carolina have capitalized on cannabinoids, which are largely unregulated.
At The Burnt Pot Cannabis Café and Modern Apothecia in Raleigh, Eric Stahl and his team serve up infused drinks and other hemp-related products.
“What we need to do is make sure that all the players are acting fairly, that these products are being tested correctly, and that we’re not allowing, most importantly, not allowing intoxicating products to wind up in the hands of children,” Stahl said.
That’s exactly what House Bill 563 would do, requiring businesses to get licenses and test products. It also bans hemp from schools and prohibits sales to anyone under 18.
The bill unanimously passed the state House last week and has been sent to the Senate.
“I think this is a perfect example of our House and our Senate trying to work on behalf of small business to create a platform that allows us to continue,” Stahl said. “But there are some more tweaks that we probably need to see before we see the final version.”
While Stahl agrees with the vast majority of the regulations, he says one provision that caps THC levels at three milligrams would hurt businesses more than help.
“That would take probably somewhere in the range of 95 percent of the products that are in hemp stores like mine, off shelves,” Stahl said.
Under current law, products can contain more milligrams of THC, as long as the product is big enough for the psychoactive ingredient to be less than 0.3 percent of the total dry weight.
The bill also includes $2 million for the state to hire agents that would enforce the rules.