It was a huge victory for the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association. On October 6, 2016, city officials of Asheboro, North Carolina, approved a zoning permit for the first hemp food processing plant in North Carolina. The ruling that was passed on September 28, 2015, allowing industrial hemp to be grown in the state was of little value with no nearby processing plants.
Farmers were informed and the reaction was very favorable. Waylon Saunders, the director of farm operations for Founders Hemp, is one of 3 farmers that will be planting test plots for next year’s harvest. 100-200 acres is the targeted amount for testing the processing of seeds. The roots, the stalk, the leaves and the seed of the hemp plant can all be used in different products and expansion to all of these areas are a future possibility.
North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee have the most favorable growing conditions for growing hemp and the results could have a two-fold effect for the public, as well as farmers.
“I was just looking for a new product, something a little more profitable in the long run. It’s time to try something different. Corn and soybeans, to be honest with you, anybody that keeps up with corn and soybeans know the market is as low as it’s been in several years. It’s hard to make a decent living,” says Saunders.
The supply and demand of hemp products in our country is very attractive today. Historically Healthy and Historical Remedy are the brand names selected for marketing roasted seeds, seed hearts, and oils pressed from hemp seeds, hemp oil-based tinctures, a cherry-flavored elixir, and a salve. Contracts for delivery to retail outlets are now underway.
The 5,200-square foot light manufacturing plant, located on Dorsett Avenue, will be responsible for processing the gathered seed. Farmers will take their harvested product to Saunders’ farm where it will be cleaned, weighed and dried. Seeds will be delivered to the Asheboro processing facility in food-grade containers.
With the circle now completed, North Carolina will be able to further the cause of hemp-manufactured products in the U.S. and introduce the benefits of this amazing crop.