By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
The state of North Carolina is considering joining a lawsuit against the DEA over their position on industrial hemp and the products derived from the plant. The state appointed North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission has already voiced its support for the lawsuit and said they would announce Thursday, April 6th, whether they will actually become a party in it.
Founder’s Hemp of Asheboro will be filing the suit against the DEA over their restrictive positions. The argument they will put forth is that the 2014 Farm Bill allowed the production of hemp by states under those states universities and agriculture departments. Since then a total of 30 states have now passed hemp farming laws to start the production and research into the valuable crop.
Bob Crumley, the President of Founder’s Hemp told the commission on March 29th during the public comment period that it was time to make a stand or the hemp companies were through. He requested the commission join the suit and support the farmers.
“We cannot let this stand as an industry,” the president of Founder’s Hemp told the Industrial Hemp Commission last week. “If we let what the DEA is currently doing stand, we need to fold our tents and give everybody their money back.”
He also condemned the agency for thinking “all cannabis is bad.” He explained that Canada has no such restrictions and that the fact that their crops are “legal” and ones from Kentucky and North Carolina are not. This is due to the legal importing of hemp products from other countries which is allowed.
As of now, the state of North Carolina has approved applications from at least 16 growers that intend to import seeds, which is legal according to the DEA. 40 to 50 applications have been reviewed by the state so far, and interest is high.
The commission chairman, Tom Melton, indicated there are legal questions as to whether the state could join the lawsuit, which is why they consulted their attorneys to determine if they can. Melton is the deputy director of N.C. Cooperative Extension at N.C. State University.
“We’re just not quite sure where we fall in being able to support them in litigation, so we had a motion and voted to support them verbally,” explained Melton.“But whether or not we can actually be part of litigation, we have to find out from our state attorneys really how that falls out.”
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