Roxboro, N.C. — September in North Carolina means tobacco is in the warehouses and the cotton bolls will soon pop open, but one of the newest signs of the season in the state is hemp harvesting.
When the shears snip the stalks, there is an unmistakable smell that resembles marijuana, but high hopes are the only high people will get from hemp.
“This doesn’t have any psychotic effects that marijuana does,” said farmer Jay Foushee.
In 2014, North Carolina made it permissible for farmers to grow industrial hemp, which contains less than 1 percent of the drug THC, which is found in higher levels in marijuana.
Foushee’s 2-acre plot outside Roxboro supports about 6,000 plants whose seeds will be used for medicinal purposes.
Foushee said the seed oil can be used treat a whole crop of ailments, including Parkinson’s disease and seizures.
“People are starting to use hemp oil to make them feel better,” he said.
Foushee gave up tobacco growing nearly a decade ago. Now, raising hemp is a joint effort with Calvin Whitfield, whose brother works in the