North Carolina’s first legal hemp dinner in 80+ years is this weekend in Charlotte

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Heirloom, a fine dining restaurant known for its daily rotating multi-course tasting menu featuring locally sourced and foraged ingredients, is hosting a special hemp dinner this Sunday, November 12.

Executive chef and owner Clark Barlowe will create a 5-course meal showcasing hemp harvested from Lucky Clays Farm, located about an hour west of Charlotte.

Barlowe says it will be the first legal hemp dinner in North Carolina in at least 80 years, if not the first ever.

Industrial hemp was legalized for commercial production in North Carolina in 2015 and is regulated by the N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission.

Earlier this year, an application process opened for farmers interested in growing the crop as part of the state’s industrial hemp research pilot program.

Industrial hemp had been outlawed for decades prior due to its relation and close resemblance to marijuana, but it lacks the psychoactive chemical compound THC responsible for the high associated with marijuana. According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, industrial hemp contains less than 1% THC while marijuana contains 3-15%.

But hemp does contain CBD, an oil high in essential fatty acids, that has nutritional and medicinal applications. It is also an important textile crop.

Barlowe will be showcasing local North Carolina hemp in several different edible forms, including dried as a seasoning and even juiced.

He says it’s too fibrous to treat as a leafy green but micro-hemp varieties grown at Lucky Clays are more delicate and can be eaten straight like spinach or arugula.

Heirloom’s hemp dinner will take place Sunday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m.

The restaurant is located at 8470 Bellhaven Road. Doors open at 6 p.m. and Lucky Clay Farms will be there to explain the ingredient.

Tickets are $60 for the 5-course dinner or $85 for the dinner + wine pairings. Get tickets here.

Header photo via Instagram

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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