Observer News Enterprise

Hemp grower in NC looks to medical marijuana’s future

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WILSON, N.C. (AP) — Wilson County’s only commercial hemp grower says if medical marijuana becomes legal in North Carolina, he will be a good candidate to grow it with the knowledge he has gained.

Delmer Langley,owner of D.E.L. Hemp Farm, received a license to grow hemp from the U.S. Department of Agricultur­e on Jan. 7, following the Jan. 1 transfer of hemp regulatory control from the North Carolina Department of Agricultur­e’s N.C. Industrial Hemp Program administer­ed by the N.C. Hemp Commission.

Langley said he is pleased with the federal regulatory control, from the testing to the ease of access to federal officials.

“You’ve got to be FBI fingerprin­ted before you can get your license,” said Langley, who runs a rural farm in western Wilson County.

Langley put his first hemp plants into the ground on April 16, 2019, and now harvests hemp about every five weeks from four climate-controlled, grow-lighted greenhouse­s.

The first couple of years were tough for Langley, who struggled to pay his bills with the meager proceeds from his crop of CBD hemp.

But since then, things have turned around and business is good for Langley, whose smokeable hemp, hemp tinctures, salves and hemp gummies have been selling well at hemp stores, vape stores, hardware stores and truck stops up and down the East Coast. for medicinal uses.

“Medical marijuana is coming real quick,” Langley said.

The North Carolina Compassion­ate Care Act, a bill currently being considered in the General Assembly, would “prioritize the protection of public health and safety in the creation of a system for the cultivatio­n, processing and selling of medical cannabis.”

Rep. Linda Cooper-Suggs, D-Wilson, a backer of the bill, recently visited Langley’s operation.

“I have had the good fortune of going out and spending about two hours with him, listening and seeing the entire operation and how truly complex it is,” CooperSugg­s said.

The legislator said the bill may pass the Senate during this short session, which begins May 18.

If it passes the Senate, it would then come to the House.

“We can relieve citizens by passing this bill,” Cooper-Suggs said. “Medical marijuana can bring needed pain relief to some patients if prescribed and used properly, and it has to be regulated.”

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