A 145-year-old tobacco company gets into the CBD oil business in North Carolina

In a former tobacco warehouse in a city that once touted itself as the “world’s greatest tobacco market,” a company called Criticality has begun extracting CBD oil from hemp — a cannabis plant and variant of marijuana that until recently the federal government considered an illegal drug.

Criticality can process about a half-ton of dried hemp a day here, but says it will eventually handle up to 6 tons and employ 88 people within a few years. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week, CEO Brian Moyer said his company now runs the largest facility for extracting and refining cannabidiol or CBD from hemp in North Carolina.

That same day, Morrisville-based Root Bioscience announced that it had teamed up with a group of farmers based in Bertie County to launch what it called North Carolina’s largest hemp processing facility, in the town of Windsor.

Regardless of who is right, these

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