It’s now legal to grow hemp in WNC, and Frances Tacy, co-owner of Franny’s Farm in Leicester, harvested her first crop this year.

(Mountain XPress)  In December, many Western North Carolina farmers, businesses and consumers received a welcome present when the U.S. Congress approved the Farm Bill, which removed hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol — or CBD — from the Controlled Substances Act. This action immediately translated to a surge in the availability of CBD food and beverage products in Western North Carolina and across the nation.

WNC residents may have noticed a recent uptick in the number of legal CBD dispensaries and observed CBD-infused drinks and foods popping up on menus at local restaurants and bars and on the shelves of area retail shops. Cannabis Business Executive reported in January that “CBD’s domestic market reached $291 million in 2017 and will hit $1.65 billion by 2021.”

But the bright outlook of this burgeoning industry may have darkened slightly this month as North Carolina public health officials joined regulators in several other states in seeking to enforce existing laws. While CBD oil is not in danger of being pulled from shelves, the fate of CBD-infused foods and beverages is a bit murky.

Read the full feature by Shawdra Russell HERE>